Sidmouth shingle restoration to start Monday

Some shingle has naturally returned to east beach

Some shingle has naturally returned to east beach - Credit: Archant

Work to reinstate the depleted shingle on Sidmouth’s main beach is set to get started on Monday – but a lack of surplus stones means the eastern end will lose out.

East Devon District Council’s project is limited to the ‘emergency recycling’ of the beach to its autumn 2013 profile and will see the beach shut off in sections for six weeks.

Heavy machinery will shift shingle around on the main beach to restore it to levels seen before last winter’s storms.

Councillor Andrew Moulding said: “The work we are planning to carry out does not detract from funding for – or the timescale of – the current beach management plan (BMP) project, which has a much wider scope.

“In fact, they complement the 1995 coastal defence scheme, which is at the core of the current project. We believe the work we are proposing to carry out, with central government funds, will be of benefit to the local community with little, if any, risk. So it is very worthwhile.”

To reduce the movements of heavy plant along the seafront, the machines will first form a temporary ramp up and over the rock groyne opposite the Bedford Hotel and will use the existing concrete ramps at the Royal York.

Periodic recycling was predicted to be necessary when the coastal defence scheme – which saw wooden groynes replaced with the current rock groynes and breakwaters – was drawn up in 1995.

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If the BMP recommends that the main beach should be restored to the 1995 level, this project is expected to cut the cost of doing so.