New beach access and plans to tackle storm damage approved for Marsden Bay
Plans to tackle storm damage at a popular coastal route have been given the go-ahead by council planners.
Earlier this year, South Tyneside Council confirmed it was looking to repair a section of the Redwell steps at Marsden Bay.
The site houses a disused lifeguard station and canoe store, with the council fearing the buildings are on the brink of collapse.
Plans to revamp the site include demolishing the structures and the lower section of the existing concrete walkway and replacing it with new access steps.
When completed, a timber structure will be tied to the existing upper stairs to allow visitors to access the beach.
South Tyneside Council’s planning authority gave the go-ahead to the scheme on Tuesday, October 1 following public consultation.
Although the demolition works were expected to start this year, they have been pushed back to avoid disturbing wildlife along the coastline.
When works start, Redwell Steps will be closed off to the public with a temporary diversion put in place along the coastal path.
The construction of the new staircase is also predicted to take two months.
A council report reads: “The proposal is both directly relevant to and associated with change management at the coast.
“It seeks to replace existing structures that are decaying as a consequence of their location (where they are exposed to the elements and moreover the ebb and flow of the sea) and replace them with new stairs so that public access to the beach would be maintained at this location.
“Furthermore, the replacement stairs would essentially constitute re-development of a previously developed site and where their design and appearance functionally reflects their intended purpose and coastal location.”
The National Trust owns the land looking directly onto Marsden Beach and rents it to South Tyneside Council.
Under the works, a marine licence will limit the times works can take place alongside limitations on deliveries.
This will take into account the ebb and flow of the tide, water quality and the protection of the marine environment.
A council report states that the demolition and construction phase would not have any permanent impact on heritage asset Marsden Grotto.
A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman added:“Demolition work is not likely to start until next spring to avoid disturbing birds who spend the winter on our coastline – as detailed in the marine licence.
“Appropriate diversions will be put in place, and communicated to the public, nearer the time.”