Storms wash away cliff protection gravel

13:12 17 December 2012

Now you see it: Dredged gravel is brough to Sidmouth beach by the lorry load in early December.

Now you see it: Dredged gravel is brough to Sidmouth beach by the lorry load in early December.

Archant

AGGREGATE placed on the beach at Sidmouth and intended for transfer to Pennington Point in the New Year has been washed away by a combination of high tide and stormy seas on Thursday night.

The material had been dredged from the River Sid by the Environment Agency and at EDDC’s request was diverted from its intended destination to Port Royal.

A specialist machine, not available until January, was to have moved the aggregate to the foot of the cliffs to protect them from wave action.

Councillor Phil Twiss, EDDC, Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment, said on Friday: “Sadly, our fear that this material might be washed away in the event of a storm has come true only too soon. It’s very disappointing.

“When we arranged for the material to be diverted to Port Royal, we knew there was a chance it could be washed away in a storm. We said at the time that it was a calculated risk that we needed to take. Unfortunately, nature has had the last laugh this time, but I don’t regret giving it a go as it could so easily have been a short-term remedy”.

EDDC is in talks with the Environment Agency and with Devon County Council about the longer term measures to tackle the problem of cliff erosion at Pennington Point, where there have been sizeable falls in recent months.

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