At a committee meeting of Newry Mourne and Down District Council on 17th October, Mournes Sinn Féin Councillor Willie Clarke has welcomed the decision of the council’s Regulatory and Technical Services committee to begin the process to repair the ten concrete steps at South Promenade on Newcastle’s foreshore.
Following a discussion on the Council officers recommendation, it was agreed to recommend approval to proceed to submit an application for a Construction Marine Licence to DAERA.
Cllr Clarke said: “The access at Glen River car park, is the main access onto the foreshore on the southern side of Newcastle. The condition of the steps have deteriorated over the years due to storm damage. I proposed at the committee meeting on Wednesday that we have a parallel process of obtaining the marine licence from DAERA and go out to tender to carry out the repairs at the same time.
“The damaged walkway is extremely hazardous for users at the moment, particularly for older citizens and mothers and toddlers trying to access the local beach.It is vitally important that Council does everything possible to make our residents and visitors experience as pleasurable as possible when visiting Newcastle promenade and beach, and it is an essential that the beach access infrastructure is safe and fit for purpose. We need to have this fixed before the start of the next holiday season.”
The council officer indicated that an inspection had been carried out by a structural engineer on the steps at the South Promenade. The inspection indicated there was damage to the rock armour and erosion beside and under the steps. The breaching of the rock armouring causes a threat to the adjacent footpath and roadway and could deteriorate quickly in adverse sea conditions.
The proposal to apply for a marine licence and move ahead with the repairs to the steps area was proposed by Cllr Willie Clarke and seconded by Cllr Jill McCauley.