Outcry At New Additions To Old Town Sea Wall

One of the drain covers

There has been an outcry over the latest additions to the sea wall at Old Town Beach, and Scilly’s planning chief, Craig Dryden, admits what’s been added isn’t what was agreed by planners.

Only a month after the concrete wall was raised two feet using oak beams, the contractors, Kier, have added large, protruding drains to the structure.

The 14 black drains are around two feet in diameter and stick out from the wall by the same amount. Each is covered by a large, black flap and have been likened to toilets stuck in the wall.

Craig admitted the designs are different to those on the original planning application, which show the flaps flush with the sea wall. He said he would be talking to the contractors to resolve the issue.

Phil Osmond from Mace told us they’re purge flaps, which will allow any flood water that overtops the defences to drain back onto the beach. He confirmed that he had heard about the complaints and was “in discussions with the contractors.”

And locals aren’t happy. Colin Ridsdale, who first alerted us via our Facebook page, told us he was “infused with anger” when he first saw the “half-dustbins with lids” at the weekend. He thinks they’re way too big for the size of drain behind them and described the structures as overkill.

Islands’ Tourism Vice Chair, Euan Rodger, called it “the ruination of a very popular beach.”

But Old Town Inn Landlady, Sue Champion, wants answers.

She said, “no-one in their right mind is going to want to sit on the beach now.” She thinks the Council have wasted money and wants them to remove the black drains straight away.

The changes to the sea wall, which include increasing the height of the wall to 16ft above sea level to cope with predicted storm surges, was required as part of the new school build planning consent.

However, we received numerous complaints from islanders and visitors who thought the use of oak beams, bolted to the original concrete wall, looked out of place and would be ineffective in a storm.

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