Saturday, 12 December 2009

Ramsgate Cliff Face

Work is to be carried out by the council to part of the cliff façade along Ramsgate seafront.

The council has carried out investigations into the condition of one of the smaller blockwork facing panels at the former Pleasurama site, which have revealed that the panel needs to be rebuilt.

This facing panel does not form part of the structure which supports the façade. The repair is necessary because of a localised issue behind the panel. There is no evidence to suggest that there is any work required to the rest of the cliff facade. Investigations have not given any cause for concern with the stability of the structure, which is built in front of the cliff face.

The repair work will consist of demolishing the blockwork facing panel, which dates back to the 1930s, and rebuilding with blockwork containing an infill of reinforced concrete. The void behind the new blockwork panel will be filled to further protect the chalk cliff face. A drainage system will also be installed to stop any ground water from being trapped behind the new panel. Considerable drainage work has already been carried out on the cliff top above, so that water is diverted away from the cliff façade to minimise any potential damage this may otherwise cause.

Only approximately 40 metres of the 210 metre site uses the same blockwork design that dates from the late 1930s. There is no evidence of any defects of a similar nature in any of the remaining blockwork panels of the same era. These panels along with the rest of the cliff façade will continue to receive inspections at regular intervals in the future.

Under the plans agreed for the site, a four metre gap has been left at the back of the site to allow access to carry out repair work, should any be needed in the future.

Cllr. John Kirby, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and Ramsgate Marina, said: “I’d like to reassure people that there is nothing to indicate that there is any imminent danger and we have no reason to believe this is anything more significant than a localised repair. I am aware that concerns have been voiced about the state of the cliff façade in this area and that’s why the council carried out these extra checks on top of our usual programme of inspection. However, with the discovery we’ve made, there’s no cause for concern. It’s not an indication of a more serious problem and we will deal with it, exactly as we did in the late 1990s when new cliff facing panels were required after the demolition of the old Pleasurama building.”

The repair work is due to begin in the new year.

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