Shortlist of Sidmouth coast defence options to be considered

A view of the eroded cliffs from one of the gardens in Cliff Road Sidmouth. ref shs 7660-06-13TI Pho

A view of the eroded cliffs from one of the gardens in Cliff Road Sidmouth. ref shs 7660-06-13TI Photo by Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Experts working on a long-term plan to safeguard Sidmouth’s eroding shoreline are preparing to draw up a short list of coastal defence options for the town.

This comes after a panel tasked with advising specialists on the long-awaited Beach Management Plan (BMP) met last week.

The BMP’s steering group convened on Friday, January 15, to consider a long list of potential options to maintain Sidmouth’s flood defences and slow the rate of erosion at Pennington Point and East Cliff.

The panel suggested options to be taken forward for the short list, which will now be looked at in more detail by consultants C2HM.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) hopes that by late summer 2016, the production of the draft BMP, together with supporting documents will have been completed.

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This will be followed by a four week consultation on the draft BMP and then the finalisation of the plan.

EDDC will then prepare a detailed business case to access Government funding from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

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BMP steering group chairman, Andrew Moulding said: “It is important that we considerer all the available and relevant options to ensure the future health and longevity of Sidmouth and East beaches.

“This is a difficult environmental balancing act, with many implications for each of the options that we are currently appraising.

“Maintenance and repair action, as well as the construction of new protective structures are all being assessed with care as it is critical that none of the options should compromise or impact on the integrity of environmental features.

“Once the short list options have been agreed, we can look forward to identifying and implementing the most appropriate management scheme aimed at addressing flood risk and coastal erosion affecting Sidmouth and East Beach”

“I would like to thank our Steering Group for their tireless input and assistance in this project and for contributing so much of their time and expertise into helping us formulate a clear coastal management plan for Sidmouth and East Beach.”

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