Project Aims

The Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan has three main aims:

  1. Maintain the 1990's Sidmouth Coastal Defence Scheme Standard of Service
  2. Reduce the rate of beach and cliff erosion to the east of the River Sid (East Beach)
  3. Carry out (1) and (2) in an integrated, justifiable and sustainable way.

Project Objectives

a) Review, update and develop the existing Sidmouth BMP to include both Sidmouth seafront and East Beach, in line with the methods and format consistent with the CIRIA Beach Management Manual (BMM) (second edition) guidance (Rogers et al., 2010), to ensure that there is a robust plan for managing the beaches and associated beach management structures (i.e. existing structures and any new ones which may be required and recommended) in a sustainable way.

b) Undertake research to verify whether the rates of beach and cliff erosion to the east of the River Sid have increased when compared to historical (pre-Sidmouth sea defences) rates and determine an understanding of the relationship between coastal processes, beach volumes, cliff recession and coastal engineering over time. To include review and update (if necessary) of the SMP2 predicted erosion zones.

c) Determine the risks associated with beach and cliff erosion along East Beach on the effectiveness of the River Sid defences, the Alma Bridge and cliff top properties.

d) Determine if the Standard of Service provided by the Sidmouth seafront coastal defences constructed in the 1990’s is being met and ensure that these are maintained in a sustainable way.

e) Carry out a detailed inspection and engineering assessment to determine residual life and the current and future standard of protection of defences along the River Sid western wall given the risks posed by beach and cliff erosion to the east of the River Sid.

f) Determine the preferred integrated, justifiable and sustainable coastal defence management options that:

i. Maintains the Standard of Service for Sidmouth seafront defences;

ii. Defines the requirements of engineering assessment to determine works appropriate to upgrade the River Sid western wall;

iii. Reduce the rate of beach and cliff erosion for East Beach (that threatens the River Sid defences, Alma Bridge and cliff-top properties at Pennington Point);

iv. Does not compromise or adversely impact the integrity of the environmental features of the Dorset and East Devon UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sidmouth to West Bay Special Area of Conservation or the Sidmouth to Beer Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest; and

v. Ensures that monitoring undertaken as part of the South West Coastal Monitoring Programme is aligned to the requirements of the preferred option.

If required, investigate available sources and suitability of material both within the study area (for recycling) or from distant sources (for recharge) as part of option appraisal.

In relation to the objectives stated above, (a) will be delivered as the final output from this project. Objectives (b), (c), (d) and (e) have been met through delivery of the baseline assessments of coastal processes, coastal defences, environment and economics developed as part of this project. Those baseline assessments have been used to inform identification of a long-list of potential future management options to address the project aims and objectives stated above (refer to Section 4), and underpin the technical, economic and environmental appraisal of each long-list option