Updates given on Sidmouth’s beach management scheme

The latest works being undertaken for the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Scheme have been revealed to the project’s steering group.

The Sidmouth and East Beach Management Scheme steering group received an update from East Devon District Council’s project consultants Royal HaskoningDHV at their latest meeting.

Consultants used the time to explain how they had been considering and testing various approaches to reduce the rate of wave overtopping, by increasing the width and height of the beach.

Although it was found that changes in the design of the beach were limited by the geometry of the existing groynes.

Following their findings, Royal HaskoningDHV made a proposal to recharge the beach with a ten metre flat section at the top and suggested increasing the height of the splash wall to half a metre - with lower sections of wall where the beach is less exposed.

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The issue of additional offshore breakwaters were also discussed and it was explained that although the breakwaters may present a more robust solution technically, they would come at almost double the cost.

Royal Haskoning DHV also presented more detailed outline design drawings, which have been developed using 3D models to help ensure that costs for the volumes of rock and shingle are estimated accurately. Additional surveys are also being carried out along the seafront to help inform the outline design of the splash wall.

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The proposals also include improving maintenance access onto East Beach for future recycling and replenishment, and the issue of whether water access can be improved.

Sidmouth Lifeboat have offered to host a separate meeting with the interested groups to look at ways in which the scheme could improve the launching facilities at the Port Royal end of the beach.

Councillor Tom Wright, who is responsible for the environment and the stakeholder group chairman, said: “It was good to meet with the group following the successful public exhibition event and to continue to hear their views and to keep the community updated as the scheme moves forward.”

Alex Lee, Royal HaskoningDHV’s technical director, said: “We enjoyed having the opportunity to update the statutory bodies and local community on our progress so far.”

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