New option to consider in Sidmouth’s beach management plan

Option Four

Option Four - Credit: Archant

A fifth solution to Sidmouth’s coastal erosion has been put forward halfway through a consultation to choose the best option.

The alternative to Option Four, with the breakwaters rotated

The alternative to Option Four, with the breakwaters rotated - Credit: Archant

East Devon District Council (EDDC) was looking at using more offshore breakwaters to create a ‘more stable’ shoreline, as one option to implement its beach management plan (BMP).

But after meeting members of its steering group last week, it is now considering a variation on Option Four, with the defences angled and tapering towards the beach.

At the meeting, coastal expert Alan Frampton explained how CH2M – EDDC’s consultants – had arrived at the proposal for four offshore breakwaters, running parallel to the shoreline, and how this breakwater arrangement creates a more stable beach than angled breakwaters.

He stressed that the size, placement and orientation of the reefs could be modified following more detailed modelling.

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But Sidmouth’s community representatives – who have now formed their own sub-group – pushed for the variation on option four to be included.

It has now been mocked up and added to the consultation boards on display at Knowle and online.

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There are three other options on the table.

Option One is to repair and shorten the wall at the eastern end of the main beach, and construct a low-level rock groyne on the east beach, to the east of the River Sid.

Option Two is to modify the rock groynes at Bedford Steps, York Steps and East Pier Rock into ‘T’ shapes, and constructing a rock groyne as in Option One.

Under Option Three, the rock groynes at Bedford Steps and York Steps will be modified into ‘T’ shapes. The east pier rock groyne will be removed, as will a section of the wall at the east end of the main beach, and slope of large boulders will be placed next to the seawall.

If an offshore reef solution emerges as the preferred option, then further detailed modelling of the various reef arrangements would be required to finalise the number, position, size and height of breakwaters required.

John Golding, EDDC’s strategic lead for housing and environment, said: “We want to receive as much feedback as possible from the local community to help inform the decision-making process on the BMP options and to enable the project to proceed.

“We value the opinions of the local community highly as part of the BMP process.”

The consultation is running until Tuesday, July 5. Visit to respond.

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