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

Pictured (l-r) are Hal Furneaux-Gotch, EDDC engineering assistant, Cllr Andrew Moulding, chairman of

Pictured (l-r) are Hal Furneaux-Gotch, EDDC engineering assistant, Cllr Andrew Moulding, chairman of the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan Steering Group, and Dave Turner EDDC engineering projects manager. - Credit: EDDC

A collection box has been installed on Sidmouth seafront in the hope residents and visitors can help meet a £3.3million funding shortfall for a scheme to tackle coastal erosion and flooding.

Information signs promoting the beach management plan have also been installed on The Esplanade.

All donations collected by East Devon District Council will go towards delivering a scheme to protect the coastline.

The preferred option – S1 – involves the possible construction of one or two rock groynes on East Beach and alterations to the River Sid’s training wall adjacent to Port Royal. It 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.

A more expensive option – S4 – involves beach recharging/recycling and additional offshore breakwaters. This is double the cost of the preferred option and can only be considered if the council and the Environment Agency can be sure that it is affordable.

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Both options are likely to require a significant amount of partnership funding to supplement government cash.

In the case of option S1, this is estimated to be £3.3 million. Option S4 is estimated to be £12.2 million.

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

The donation box and sign were unveiled by Councillor Andrew Moulding, chairman of the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Steering Group. He 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. 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.”

The box and signs have been funded by Devon Council Council.

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