Guide Sidmouth Beach Management Plan: Frequently Asked Questions

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18. Why is using rock armour to protect the base of the cliff being ruled out?

Planning applications for a rock revetment on East Beach have been recommended for refusal by the Local Planning Authority and subsequently withdrawn by the applicants on two previous occasions, most recently in 2011. Objections from multiple agencies including Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Jurassic Coast Team and the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be found in the most recent planning application (application reference: 11/0904/FUL).

Natural England's objections include:

  • Incompatibility with the shoreline management plan (SMP2) policy
  • Likely to have an adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site
  • Insufficient information was provided to consider the impacts on the Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the effects further along the coast
  • Landscape impacts
  • Insufficient consideration of alternative options

The BMP has been undertaken to consider the alternative options, which are more likely to receive planning and marine consents.

The Jurassic Coast team have provided information on the importance of the geology on East Beach.

A position statement from Natural England and the Jurassic Coast Team in regards to a rock revetment at East Beach is also available to read.