Donation box installed on Sidmouth seafront to help raise £3.3million for coastal protection scheme

A collection box has been installed on Sidmouth seafront to raise money for the beach management pla

A collection box has been installed on Sidmouth seafront to raise money for the beach management plan - Credit: Archant

A collection box has been installed on Sidmouth seafront in an ‘urgent appeal’ to raise £3.3million for a scheme to tackle coastal erosion and prevent flooding.

Option 1 in the beach management plan

Option 1 in the beach management plan - Credit: Archant

Information signs promoting the beach management plan have also been installed on The Esplanade to encourage residents and visitors to help meet the funding shortfall.

All donations collected by East Devon District Council (EDDC) – together with an estimated £5.7million from central government – will go towards delivering a scheme to protect the coastline.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “We are urgently appealing to the public for their support in helping us raise partnership funding for Sidmouth’s beach management scheme. We hope that this donation box will encourage people to help support the works that are recommended to be put in place to reduce the risk of coastal erosion and flooding, which can have a significant impact on the town’s residents and businesses.

“A healthy beach acts as a defence against flooding and storm damage, as well as providing an ongoing amenity and tourism draw for the town.

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“Without the scheme, wave overtopping – as experienced in the early 1990s – would start to reoccur, the flood defences to the east of the town would become more vulnerable to flooding and storm damage, and there would be a reduced beach with the rock armour at the base of the sea wall exposed and a significant drop down onto the beach.”

EDDC’s preferred option – S1 – involves the construction of one, or possibly two, rock groynes on East Beach and alterations to the River Sid’s training wall.

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This would also see the replenishment of Sidmouth’s main and east beaches with shingle. The works would be accompanied by ongoing ‘shingle recycling’ – moving the material from one area of the beach to another – as required.

S4, a more expensive option that is technically favoured, involves beach recharging/recycling and construction of a series of additional offshore breakwaters. This is double the cost of the preferred option and can only be considered if EDDC and the Environment Agency can be sure that it is affordable.

Both options are likely to require a significant amount of partnership funding to supplement government cash, worth an estimated £5.7million.

In the case of S1, this is estimated to be £3.3million, while S4 would need an estimated £12.2million.

Partnership funding can include contributions from residents, businesses and visitors.

Donations can also be made at EDDC’s Knowle HQ during office hours.

Construction of the chosen scheme is set to begin in the summer of 2019 at the earliest.

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