Sidmouth coast protection options revealed

A view from Salcombe Hill at the weekend of the work being carried out on the shingle of Sidmouth be

A view from Salcombe Hill at the weekend of the work being carried out on the shingle of Sidmouth beach. Ref shs 0285-04-15SH. Photo Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Major changes to Sidmouth seafront could be required to safeguard the town’s eroding shoreline – including the removal of rock groynes from the main beach and more offshore breakwaters.

Experts developing a plan for coastal protection are also considering raising the height of the wall along The Esplanade, a replacement promenade at Jacob’s Ladder and new ‘low-level groynes’ off the eastern beach.

Other options on the table, made public for the first time this week, include beefing-up existing defences, a continuation of the ‘shingle recycling’ that took place in January – and doing nothing.

The long list of strategies, revealed in an update on the town’s long-awaited beach management plan (BMP), come in the same week as a prominent Sidmouth businessman spoke of how he decided to withdraw from a panel tasked with advising the project.

Richard Eley says controversial plans for social housing on the Mill Street car park will have knock-on effects for the town’s future flood defences and any ‘ambitious, high-quality’ development of Port Royal.

East Devon District Council says it is aiming to produce a shortlist of options for the beach management plan early next year, ahead of beginning management works after ‘late spring 2016’.

Which of the options would you like to see become a reality? Tell us what you think. Email the Herald at

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