Residents pledge thousands to save homes
PUBLISHED: 11:17 27 May 2013
RESIDENTS have pledged thousands of pounds of their own money to speed up a beach management plan to pinpoint how best to slow down erosion of Pennington Point.
Cliff Road homeowners who fear for their properties want the Environment Agency (EA) to match the amount.
They are willing to stump up £7,500 to meet a shortfall for the blueprint.
Householders had already spent £10,000 on a planning application for a rock revetment they withdrew in good faith two years ago when the district council formed a working party to look at tackling the crumbling coastline.
Paul Griew, leader of the Cliff Road Action Group, told the Herald this week: “It looked as if there was about a £15,000 shortfall [for the beach management plan].
“We didn’t want to spend lots of time trying to get someone else to fund it – we want to get on as fast as possible.
“While we don’t think it is our fault that the problem is occurring, anything to stop our gardens eroding is important.
“If everything gets going we could start getting the beach management plan together in August or September and have that finished in seven or eight months by the end of the next financial year.
“We will have to wait and see what is proposed to see what action needs to be taken and where funding for that will come from.”
The plan will determine how best to manage Sidmouth beach over the next decade.
It is expected to cost £80,000 in total, with £27,000 so far committed by East Devon District Council and a similar figure from the EA.
County councillor Stuart Hughes was involved in recent discussions on the matter with EA chiefs and said: “I’m pretty confident they are going to put more into the scheme.”