Future vision: Sidmouth coastal erosion insight

Images reveal ‘worst case scenario’ at Pennington Point

THESE specially commissioned images reveal how Sidmouth’s crumbling Pennington Point could look for future generations in a ‘worst case scenario’.

Residents and visitors to the town’s stretch of Jurassic Coast were yesterday invited to Kennaway House to find out more on how coastal erosion might affect them.

Computer-generated images showed what Sidmouth’s coast may look like in 20, 50 and 100 years time.

But experts played down fears by saying the rate of erosion highlighted will only happen if no intervention were to take place - and a policy change should alter the picture. “These visualisations are not a prediction of where the coast will be in 50 to 100 years time, rather, they show how the coast might change under a policy of ‘no active intervention’ at Pennington Point - if the policies in the draft Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), published in 2010, were implemented based on national data sets,” said Alexandria Potter, coastal change Pathfinder support officer for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage team.

“The policy for Pennington Point has since changed to one of ‘managed realignment’ in the final SMP and, therefore, this visualisation should only be regarded as indicative of the ‘worst case scenario’ under the previous policy,” she added.

“The time frames are also indicative - with no active intervention the change will come, but it is not possible to forecast exactly when or how.”

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A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) is a large-scale assessment of the perils associated with coastal processes and helps reduce such risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environments.

Government funded ‘Pathfinder’ project surveys, looking at coastal change, suggest people want to know more about the issue and get more involved in decision making and coastline management, say Jurassic Coast experts.

Visitors to yesterday’s exhibition were also presented with ideas that communities themselves have come up with to adapt to change, following workshops as part of the project.