‘A lucky escape’ - call for urgent sea defences after storms

11:36 14 January 2014

Spectactors with cameras at the ready at Sidmouth on Monday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 8899-02-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk

Spectactors with cameras at the ready at Sidmouth on Monday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 8899-02-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk

Archant

SIDMOUTH had a ‘lucky’ escape from huge waves and strong winds which battered the coast this week, according to residents who say better sea defences are needed urgently.

High tides combined with wild weather have seen renewed flooding fears issued for properties on The Esplanade and the eastern town.

Householders have spoken of how their properties shook as waves bashed the promenade – bringing tons of shingle with them.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) last month announced the start of a 12-month project to formulate a £75,000 beach management plan for Sidmouth aimed at improving the town’s coastal defences.

Esplanade resident John Govier, a founding former member of the authority and seafront resident of 60 years, says it must not ‘wait for devastation’.

“We’ve been lucky but you can’t ride on your luck forever. Something has got to be done,” said Mr Govier.

He expressed alarm at the amount of shingle that has vanished and fears more cliff falls, erosion, and that the sea could ‘get in behind’ Alma Bridge.

Mr Govier said high tide on Monday marked the culmination of a month of ‘horrendous’ storms.

“Tremendous waves built up and slammed against the sea wall. Whole waves were going right across the seafront. I’m not talking about spray – it was green water,” he said. “Every time the sea hits the sea wall the house shakes – damage is being done whether you like it or not. The shingle is gone and it’s not likely to come back.

“The council is spending £75,000 on another investigation – a waste of money. We know what the problems are. If they don’t, I suggest they go up to the primary school and ask some of the school kids. They are elementary. The money would be better spent doing something you can see what you’re doing with it.”

Mark Seward, owner of the Hotel Elizabeth and Kingswood and Devoran, said the force of the weather had caused a few problems at the seafront venues before and during a busy Christmas. A glass foyer door was shattered and damaged and guests could not park their cars on the Esplanade because it was too wet and windy.

But Mr Seward said the beach’s rock groynes did their job and worst-held fears were not realised this week.

He warned that slightly different conditions could see flooding of the eastern town and that the River Sid needs better protection, adding: “If there had been a southerly swell and high winds straight up into the town it would have been very difficult and there would have been serious issues.”

An EDDC spokesman said whether Sidmouth escaped because of luck or effective existing sea defences was up for debate, but the storm gates were closed well in advance and sand bags made available.

He added that the study must be done to gather evidence if it is to secure investment from Government and the Environment Agency.

“The £75,000 to be spent on the study would be - quite literally - a drop in the ocean compared with the actual cost of any major works,” said the spokesman.

0 comments

More from Sidmouth Herald

25 minutes ago
Recycling bins on Church Street, Sidmouth. Ref shs 2844-04-16SH. Photo Simon Horn

EDDC picks winning bidder for seven-year recycling and refuse contract

Read more
06:00
Email your letters to sidmouth.letters@archant.co.uk.

‘If the ‘we can fix it’...then it’s back to the extinction option’

Read more
Yesterday, 18:31
Just Misbehavin'

Romance will be in the air in Exmouth this weekend, as Valentine’s Day approaches, writes Paul Strange.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30
Les Baker and friends

Members and friends of Seaton Choral Society, led by Leslie Baker, will give a concert performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, along with some other excerpts from the operas.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:30
Stewart Francis

Exeter Corn Exchange was filled with the sound of laughter as one of TV’s biggest comedians visited the city for an evening.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:24
Work is well underway on the new toilet block at Sidmouth Parish Church. Pictured by the new build are Rev Philip Bourne, Philip Hughes, Martyn Bagwell, John Scott, Michael Robertson. Ref shs 3791-45-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The Archdeacon of Exeter is set to cut the ribbon at Sidmouth Parish Church’s new toilet block on Palm Sunday (March 20).

Read more
Yesterday, 06:00
Hugo Swire stock picture

Hugo Swire commends Sid Valley Memory Cafe and Herald for £100,000 appeal

Read more
Yesterday, 06:00
Email your letters to sidmouth.letters@archant.co.uk.

‘Nowadays, some governments believe that when bombing militants does not defeat them, the solution is to bomb them more and more heavily.’

Read more
Wed, 20:20

It is rare indeed for a runner to miss out on his or her sport because of a bad weather induced cancellation and indeed well over two hundred of them finished Exmouth Harriers’ Fulfords Five (miles) race on Sunday (February 7), writes Dave Eveleigh.

Read more
Wed, 11:04
Diesel

Takeaways and booze – charity reveals the shocking ‘treats’ fuelling pet obesity crisis in the South West. PDSA warns of pet obesity crisis fuelled by bad diets.

Read more
Sunday, January 31, 2016
The Exmouth Shanty Men

Fun on Febraury 20 organised by Lions Club of Sidmouth in aid of Headway Devon

Read more
Sunday, January 31, 2016
The Shetland Pony Grand National in the Mole Valley Farmers main arena at the Devon County Show.

Tickets on sale with some 95,000 people expected to attend

Read more
Friday, January 29, 2016
Ottery Scouts at the 2015 jumble sale.

Huge jumble sale, choirs join forces ‘just for love of singing’, storytelling for grown-ups and more.....

Read more
Monday, January 25, 2016
View of Sidmouth seafront. Picture: Alex Walton. Ref Sidmouth view 1

Admiral Nurse fundraiser, churchwardens needed and tea time at St Giles and St Nicholas

Read more
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Gritters get ready for freezing temperatures as lows of -6.3C expected in East Devon.

Read more
Monday, January 18, 2016

A 12-acre business park in Sidford is still on the cards after a government inspector kept the controversial employment land allocation in East Devon’s Local Plan.

Read more
Monday, January 18, 2016
Mystery object on the B3176.

Motorist says object on main Sidmouth road ‘does not appear to serve and obvious purpose’

Read more
Monday, January 11, 2016
Sidmouth's eastern cliffs this month. Charles Lodge.

The emergence of this ‘marvellous’ sea view highlights the ‘somewhat worrying’ reality of Sidmouth’s crumbling cliffs, according to the man who took the photograph.

Read more
Monday, November 23, 2015
Snails ate Sarah Sanders' letter

Royal Mail apologises to East Devon resident, saying hungry snails love to feast on envelopes and stamps

Read more
Friday, November 20, 2015
Road closed

Reconstruction and resurfacing work for Trow Hill

Read more
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Kingsley Squire with volunteer fundraisers for Pancreatic Cancer Action. Ref shs 8456-37-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Friends of the Herald’s Kingsley Squire, who has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, have united to organise a fundraiser to support the little-known charity he is championing.

Read more
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Sidmouth

The winners of Sidmouth in Bloom’s Floral Competition have been announced.

Read more
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Sidmouth Folkweek 2014. Ref shs 9227-32-13AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth FolkWeek is just weeks away – and a packed full programme has been announced.

Read more
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Dr Louise Knight in her surgery. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 1826-18-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Dr Louise Knight, a partner in the town’s GP practice responsible for older people’s mental health, is among those supporting the £100,000 appeal to bring an Admiral Nurse to the Sid Valley.

Read more
Monday, June 22, 2015
Sidmouth Hospiscare make a generous donation to Sid Valley Memory Cafe's Admiral Nurse for Sidmouth campaign. Handing over the donation are Duncan Watt, Pat Cooper and Adrian Ford from the memory cafe with Phil Cranch and Rachael Mackinnon from Sidmouth Hospiscare. Ref shs 9316-25-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

An appeal to bring an Admiral Nurse to the valley has been given a £10,000 boost by Sidmouth Hospiscare.

Read more
Friday, May 15, 2015
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

The ‘first phase’ of key historical background documents, relating to East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) controversial relcation project, have been published online today (Friday).

Read more
Sunday, May 10, 2015

Independents win 16 seats

Read more
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Claire Wright

A popular candidate - who secured nearly a quarter of the vote in the race for East Devon’s parliamentary seat – has thanked her supporters.

Read more
Friday, May 8, 2015
Independents Matt Booth,David Barratt,John Dyson,Dawn Manley, Cathy Gardner and Marianne Rixson. Ref shs 3689-09-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Candidates also celebrate in Ottery St Mary and Newton Poppleford

Read more
Friday, May 8, 2015
Cllr Stuart Hughes. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 3456-10-11AW

Conservative Stuart Hughes is the last-standing Tory Sid Valley representative on East Devon District Council after a pair of Independent East Devon Alliance members secured two of the Sidmouth/Sidofrd Ward’s three seats.

Read more
Friday, May 8, 2015
Matt Booth

A trio of Independent candidates have ousted the Sidmouth Town Ward’s three Tory representatives.

Read more
Friday, May 8, 2015

A late night separating the ballots has delayed the count but the first seven East Devon District Council wards have been announced.

Read more
Monday, March 23, 2015
An image taken by the fixed wing drone on Thursday.

A project to create a beach management plan for Sidmouth has taken to the skies as new aerial photographs could be the final ‘piece of the puzzle’.

Read more
Friday, March 20, 2015
Solar eclipse

Celestial phenomenon in pictures

Read more
Friday, November 28, 2014
The Byes in Sidmouth

Work aimed at improving the safety of walkers in the Byes in Sidmouth starts on Monday 8 December.

Read more
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Authority now looking to relocate from Sidmouth to Honiton and Exmouth, says report

Read more
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
A car overtakes a bus in Stowford Rise

Highways bosses say there is ‘no scope’ to alter the layout of a road that concerned residents have dubbed ‘the most dangerous part of Sidmouth’.

Read more
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Doctors at the site of the under-construction new health centre

SIDMOUTH’S under-construction new doctors’ surgery will be finished by summer 2015 – and will be named the Beacon Medical Centre.

Read more
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Sergeant Andy Squires is now splitting his time between Sidmouth and Seaton. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6983-28-13AW

Town councilllors unhappy at sharing sergeant with Seaton

Read more

Daily Newsletter

Don't miss a story

sign up to Sidmouth Herald's
FREE daily newsletter


Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Most read

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Streetlife


HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Search for a car near you

Find planning applications


Follow us on Twitter