Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

‘We need defences now,’ says storm-hit seafront resident

06:00 08 July 2014

Enormous waves crashed along Sidmouth seafront after very windy conditions and high tides. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 4354-06-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Enormous waves crashed along Sidmouth seafront after very windy conditions and high tides. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 4354-06-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Archant

AN ESPLANADE resident of 60 years says Sidmouth cannot afford to wait for new sea defences – after revealing repair work is still being done to his home four months after February’s storms.

John Govier points to repair work still being done at his seafront  home - four months after the 'great gales'John Govier points to repair work still being done at his seafront home - four months after the 'great gales'

Waves crashed over John Govier’s house and inflicted water damage on three rooms over three floors, writes Stephen Sumner.

Dehumidifiers have only just been removed and affected parts inside the property now need to be redecorated.

Sidmothian Mr Govier has spoken of his experience to highlight how unseen damage of the wild winter weather still exists, and to show a seafront protection scheme is urgently needed.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is leading a multi-agency initiative to produce a £75,000 beach management plan for Sidmouth.

The blueprint would pinpoint what defences are needed along the entire seafront, including at Pennington Point, but a recent delay means the document will not be finished until April 2015. An actual scheme would then have to be funded and implemented.

Mr Govier described the project as a ‘waste of money’ and said: “It’s far better being spent now on putting some rocks round the bottom of Pennington Point and trying to stop some of the erosion. The council employs these experts and thinks the problem is going to go away.”

He attended all of the meetings with marine consultants in the early 1990s that had led to the current off-shore defences being completed, but said tests had showed a semi-submerged breakwater right across the front of the town would have been the best option.

“If anything is going to work, that would work,” Mr Govier said. “I don’t consider myself to be an expert. But having lived here all my life, and lived on the seafront for the past 60 years, I’ve got a pretty good idea what I’m talking about.”

He added that the two ‘great gales’ in February were the worst he had ever seen.

“When you look back, you can hardly imagine it happened,” said Mr Govier. “Maybe it will happen again, maybe it will not happen for another 10, 20, 30, 40 years.”

He said the current calm summer weather should not see the issue forgotten about as the impact of the winter storms is still being felt my many homeowners.

An EDDC spokeswoman said the authority, along with its partners the Environment Agency, Sidmouth Town Council and Cliff Road residents, ‘are doing all they can to ensure that the right action is taken at the right time’.

She added: “Careful consideration needs to be given to the possible impact of any protection works to ensure that protecting one area does not put others at greater risk. This, coupled with obtaining the necessary funding for any works, means that we have to be patient.”

Other News Stories

Gallery: Pam Ayres

16:55
Pam Ayres performs at the Ham Marquee. Ref shs 30-16SH 3391. Picture: Simon Horn.

Pictures: Sidmouth Pre-Festival Event

Read more
16:30
Road

Business leaders have welcomed ‘serious proposals at last’ to improve one of the South West’s main arterial roads.

Read more
14:45
Ian Rangeley, chairman of Seaton and Beer RNLI, with volunteers at the Beer lifeboat week. Ref shb 27-16TI 3453. Picture: Terry Ife

An original painting by an artist from Beer, worth up to £1,400, is up for grabs in a sealed bid charity auction.

Read more
14:21
Friar West is celebrating 40 years of visiting Sidmouth during FolkWeek

A FolkWeek fanatic is set to enter festival folklore as he attends the event for the 40th year running.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:45
From left to right, volunteers receiving their awards, Cliff Jones, Sue Dorey, Patricia Palmer, Dieter Ritz, Sandra Iris, Nick Povey, Carol Laird,  Julia Burdekin. They were joined by charity patrons Mike Welch & Mary King MBE

Helpers receive length of service awards from patrons Mary King MBE and Mike Welch.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:08
NATIONAL EXPRESS - 45 YEARS OLD
Pictured the August 7th 1965 Wedding Photo Album of Brian Lewis & Patricia Cavanagh at St Clements Church. The Photographic album was handed in after being found at Birmingham Coach Station and National Express would like to reunite the album with the family
FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT: Ros Golds on  0121 460 8419 / 07825 976 593 or rosalyn.golds@nationalexpress.com
Picture by Adam Fradgley

A coach company is appealing to reunite a wedding album with its rightful owner – ahead of what would be the couple’s 51st anniversary.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:38
Ref mhz Honiton Show promo.

Porkies family butchers are giving away a £50 voucher for your best picture

Read more
Yesterday, 11:05

Sidmouth resident warns about thieves targeting rural car parks after her bag was snatched.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:24
Record breaking stunt cyclist Andrei Burton entertained students at Sidmouth College this week as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. Ref shs 28-16SH 2311. Picture: Simon Horn.

Sidmouth College pupils enjoyed a special treat to mark the end of the school’s golden anniversary celebrations.

Read more
Tue, 16:46
Sidmouth Horse Trials

Processional animals are mane attraction at fun new feature

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

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

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications