Project to assess coastal processes and risks will commence in May with completion planned for Autumn 2017

Councillors at a meeting of East Devon District Council’s Cabinet last night (Wednesday 10 May 2017) gave the go ahead for the production of a Beach Management Plan for Seaton.

A preferred supplier – CH2M – has already been identified, following a rigorous and competitive tender process. CH2M are coastal flooding experts who have already produced over 20 Beach Management Plans for areas across the South West of England, including Exmouth and, most recently, Sidmouth, in East Devon.

CH2M will commence work on the Seaton Beach Management Plan (SBMP) in May 2017 with a view to completing it in this year.

The brief for the project was developed in conjunction with statutory consultees including the Environment Agency and Natural England, as well as with local community groups with an interest in the beach including the Town Council, Yacht Club, Fishermen and other community groups.

The objective of the SBMP is to plan how the beach will be managed over the next five years, in the context of longer terms policies for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management from Axe Harbour to Seaton Hole, and the need to ensure the long term sustainability of the harbour for fishing and recreation.

The project, which is split into six main stages, will involve:
• Project initiation and planning
• Collation of available data
• An assessment of the existing coastal processes, flood and erosion risks, as well as the condition of existing sea defences and the environmental setting
• The establishment of baselines for defences, coastal processes, environment and economics
• The consideration of future options for the management of coastal flooding and erosion risks
• Advising on the actions that will need to be taken over the next five years to implement those options and to manage the beach

Mark Williams, East Devon District Council’s Chief Executive and Axmouth harbour master, said:

We’re pleased to be able to appoint CH2M’s Exeter based team to develop the beach Management Plan, which will consider the future management of coastal flooding and erosion along Seaton seafront. The study presents a number of challenges as well as opportunities to improve Seaton’s defences and to enhance the seafront. CH2M’s Exeter based team has an excellent track record of developing Beach Management Plans with local communities to address these needs.

Dr Jonathan Rogers, CH2M Coastal Team Leader UK, said:

We are delighted to have been awarded the contract for Seaton’s Beach Management Plan, and we look forward to working in partnership with East Devon and the local community.