Consultants share update on Sidmouth's beach protection plan

PUBLISHED: 17:09 20 September 2017

The recommended beach management scheme, which proposes one or possibly two new groynes on East Beach, maintenance access improvements on Sidmouth beach and the recharge of shingle.

The recommended beach management scheme, which proposes one or possibly two new groynes on East Beach, maintenance access improvements on Sidmouth beach and the recharge of shingle.

Archant

Consultants are set to create an outline design a scheme to protect Sidmouth from coastal flooding and erosion in the new year.

Royal HaskoningDHV, recently appointed by East Devon District Council (EDDC), met the beach management plan steering group last week to update members on the work they have undertaken and the next steps in the project.

It will use data from studies of the sea bed levels, shingle movement and how waves break over the seawall, plus data on storm conditions and predicted sea level rises, to estimate the potential economic costs of flooding and erosion.

From this, EDDC can update estimates of the funding available from DEFRA and so the amount it needs to find from partnership funding locally – currently estimated at £3.3 million over the lifetime of the scheme.

Once this stage is complete later this year, Royal HaskoningDHV will commence the outline design for the recommended beach management scheme, which proposes one or possibly two new groynes on East Beach, maintenance access improvements on Sidmouth beach and the recharge of shingle.

This will involve testing and optimising the scheme using the computer models to provide the necessary protection to the town.

Further consideration will be given to including alternative options such as offshore breakwaters in this exercise, if the additional design costs can be accommodated.

At the same time, an environmental impact and habitat regulations assessments will be undertaken to ensure that the eventual scheme is environmentally acceptable to the statutory bodes.

EDDC hopes that by mid-2018, the outline business case for the beach management scheme will have been completed, ready for submission to the Environment Agency.

Councillor Phil Twiss, the new chairman of the steering group, said: “Royal HaskoningDHV’s expert input on the scheme will be of enormous benefit to the final outcome and they will be working hard to progress the project through to the submission of the outline business case.

“While undertaking the different stages of the scheme, they will also review any previous work to ensure that the scheme is robust and fit for purpose when we are in a position to bid for funding.”

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