Council to progress Outline Business Case for Beach Management Scheme

Following unanimous support for the aims of the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan (SEBMP) at the steering group meeting in March, East Devon District Council’s Cabinet voted to adopt the SEBMP at their meeting last night Wednesday 5 April 2017.

The SEBMP document, which is the result of extensive research and work by CH2M, East Devon District Council’s coastal flood and erosion risk management consultants, as well as public consultation, will guide and inform the necessary sustainable works for managing the risk of flooding and coastal erosion to properties, businesses and community infrastructure in Sidmouth. 

A key recommendation of the Plan is a Beach Management Scheme for the town, to maintain a healthy beach along Sidmouth and East Beaches with the aim of maintaining the town’s protection against flooding while also reducing the rate of erosion on East Beach.

The next stage of the project is to develop an Outline Business Case for the Sidmouth Beach Management Scheme. The preferred option for this is the construction of one or possibly two additional rock groynes on East Beach, as well as the shortening of the River Sid training wall and the ongoing importation of new shingle as well as ongoing recycling of existing shingle. This option has been recommended as it represents the best balance of technical viability, environmental acceptability and cost.

Tenders have been received from six consultants for the next stage of the project and, following evaluation by East Devon and the Environment Agency, it is intended that final approval of the successful consultant will be sought from East Devon District Council’s Cabinet in May 2017.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, Chairman of East Devon District Council’s Steering Group, said:

I’m delighted that the steering group and East Devon’s Cabinet continue to support the recommendations of the Beach Management Plan, which is essential for the protection of Sidmouth from the sea. This is the culmination of an enormous effort to look at all of the data, as well as information from local people, to understand the coastline and to advise on the best course of action.

Now that our tender process is well underway - extremely well qualified and experienced companies having submitted tenders - we are looking forward to progressing the Beach Management Scheme to its next stage.