Views shared on Sidmouth Beach Management Plan consultation

Option 4 in the beach management plan

Option 4 in the beach management plan - Credit: Archant

Residents turned out en masse to scrutinise four proposals for a Beach Management Plan at a consultation event.

Option 3 in the beach management plan

Option 3 in the beach management plan - Credit: Archant

The choices presented at the session, held at Kennaway House on Wednesday (June 15), considered including moving or reshaping the rock groynes and breakwaters, or creating new ones, and shifting around the shingle.

Dave Turner, the engineering project manager, said there had been quite a good turnout and people had shared a broad range of views.

Among the residents who attended the event was Robin Fuller, of Knowle Drive.

He said: “I think they need, strictly speaking, to be tested. We do not want to choose what we consider to be the best option and then find it does not do what it sets out to do...

Option 2 in the beach management plan

Option 2 in the beach management plan - Credit: Archant

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“So to express an opinion is difficult. We can only express opinions about what we do not want to see.”

Mr Fuller said it was about time something was done as action should have been taken 20 years ago.

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He added: “We are now trying to catch up and stop further damage where damage has already taken place.”

Haydn Thomas, of Lymebourne Park, said he was surprised there was no inclusion of the need to take water off the land over Pennington Point by incorporating a drainage system into the River Sid.

Option 1 in the beach management plan

Option 1 in the beach management plan - Credit: Archant

He added: “There used to be a system that took water off the land and into the river, but it was removed. Talking to people here, the reason why it is not included is because Natural England are against it, as it would require pinning and netting the cliffs, which would be detrimental to the appearance of the Jurassic Coast.”

Mr Thomas said he thought option three was the best choice because it offered a short-term solution helping to stop erosion, unlike option four which was far more expensive and would take longer to implement.

Brian Taylor, of Trinity Court, said he thought it made sense to raise the level of the beach.

“I want whatever is going to stand the best chance of working,” he added.

“We can’t still be here in 2050, having another consultation report on what to do.

“It is nice to see some positive work - let’s hope it gets through to the next stage. No one will invest in Port Royal until this is sorted out.”

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