Beach restoration work finishes early
PUBLISHED: 11:25 05 February 2015
A £100,000 project to shore up Sidmouth’s depleted beach defences was completed on Monday – two weeks ahead of schedule.
The month-long shingle restoration scheme saw tonnes of stones shifted east from the western end of the beach where they had accumulated.
The work has restored the shoreline to the way it was before 2013’s winter storms, but residents have previously criticised the project as a ‘pointless’ short-term fix and ‘a waste of money’.
Councillor Andrew Moulding, East Devon District Council’s deputy leader and chairman of the beach management plan’s (BMP) steering group, said the work was paid for using emergency Environment Agency (EA) funding.
He added: “This is money that we would otherwise have had to spend as a district if we did not take the opportunity to tap into EA funding.
“We have always been clear that a significant storm event could draw the beach material down again.
“Should it do so, a significant proportion of it is likely to remain between the rock groynes, below water level where it can’t be seen, where it still provides protection and is available to be pushed back up the beach again by the sea.”
The recent work is not expected to detract from the funding or timescale of Sidmouth’s BMP, which will look at maintaining and improving the town’s coastal defences in the long term.
The council is due to meet with its steering group on the plan this month, and promises wider public engagement in June.
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