Sidmouth seafront splash wall could be mix of glass, seating and planting

Sidmouth Esplanade. Ref shs 27 18TI 7051. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Esplanade. Ref shs 27 18TI 7051. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s new one-metre splash wall could be a mix of seating, glass, gates and drop down boards.

An update on the £9million plan to give the town the vital sea and flood protections is needs, as part of the Sidmouth and East Cliff Beach Management Plan (BMP), was discussed at the latest Sidmouth Town Council meeting on Monday, January 7.

Giving an update, Councillor Geoff Jung, portfolio holder for the environment at East Devon District Council, said whatever they did they had to have the one-metre splash wall - without it they will not get the BMP funding for any beach protections.

He added: "We are not calling it a sea wall any more, we are calling it a splash barrier because we don't envisage having a splash wall all the way along.

"We have spoken to engineers and they say the height has to be a metre at least.

"They would prefer one at least two metres but that would be totally unacceptable to anyone I know of.

"There nearest we can go to is a metre - it might be slightly less than a metre in some places it might be slightly more."

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Cllr Jung said they would be putting up a trial pane of glass in Sidmouth this month to test to see if it survives the storms.

He added they have tested it but it had not been tried on a pebble beach before. They also hope to test whether it is vandal proof.

He added: "We don't have to have a wall all the way along. It would not have to be concrete like it is now - it can be designed to have seating in it and planting.

"We could enhance the seafront and incorporate the sea wall but it will take a lot of thought, a lot of time and possibly more money."

Cllr Jung said the district council was looking at meeting the current £1million funding shortfall. And, they were looking at reviewing engineering requirements, costs and possible funding from Defra and utility companies.

Cllr Jung also said they will be approaching new East Devon MP Simon Jupp to see if he can help at a national Government level.

Cllr Jung said EDDC hoped to have a timetable of when works could start by Easter.

Town councillor John Loudoun said: "It may be slightly longer than Easter before we start to see a proper, decent, organised timetable... But what has been talked about of late is that we are looking towards trying to start working next year. I think that is important that the public know that. For too long this has just sat there and it has festered."