22. An application for rock armouring would take less time
If we were to take forwards rock armouring as the preferred option we’d still need to go through the same process of investigations and approval, including assessments of the various environmental aspects. Whilst the design itself of the rock armour may be simpler, it’s unlikely to significantly reduce the programme going forwards.
There would also be the additional risks for a rock armouring scheme of:
- The Outline Business Case wouldn’t be approved, as the EA may have insufficient confidence that the scheme would get planning (and marine planning) consent given the two previous unsuccessful applications for rock armour in this location
- DEFRA (via the EA) may be reluctant to approve the OBC for a scheme which Natural England (another part of DEFRA) have advised against through the BMP process
- That planning (and marine planning) wouldn’t be approved leading to appeals, or may be referred to the secretary of state which delay the process (and add to the costs) still further