Seaton is one step closer to getting the vital flood defences it needs, after the final funding was pledged.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) is thrilled to announce that it now has the funding it needs to do the works through the Seaton Hole Beach Management Plan (BMP) as long as the Environment Agency (EA) gives the final go-ahead.
It comes after a successful bid for funds from the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, as well as extra funding from EDDC and Seaton Town Council.
Construction could start late 2022, leaving 41 homes better protected, as long as the BMP is approved by the EA and providing planning permission is granted.
The BMP project is located to the West of Seaton Town, and encompasses the area known as Seaton Hole.
This area has been prone to coastal erosion and landslips, leaving homes and infrastructure of at risk of damage.
This project sets to upgrade and enhance the existing aging defences at the base of the cliff, to slow the rate of erosion.
Following the recent overtopping and flooding of the Esplanade, EDDC is also investigating if the Seaton Hole BMP can be extended to cover the town, or if a separate project is required to look at minimising flood risk.
In the short term, using excavators, EDDC have re-profiled the beach to a more typical profile to better resist wave overtopping.
EDDC Councillor Marcus Hartnell, Seaton ward member and the chair of the Seaton BMP, said:
In 2020, the rules regarding funding eligibility were changed by central Government and reduced the BMP funding gap but did not close it.
However, with a smaller funding hole to plug, EDDC and Seaton Town Council were able to help contribute funds.
This allowed the final funding gap to be plugged by the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee which approved a motion to back the scheme.
This is a significant milestone for the Beach Management Plan and a step closer to ensuring that the risk of flood and coastal erosion between Seaton Hole and Axmouth harbour are reduced, protecting property and infrastructure.
EDDC’s leader, Cllr Paul Arnott added:
I'd like to congratulate all the parties involved in securing the funding for this vital project.
Only last week, Seaton seafront took a major battering, and there is no doubt that we must take action for this precious section of our coastline.
From an EDDC perspective, the council is very proud of our lead officer's work in bringing this all together.