A £900,000 scheme to slow the erosion of Seaton’s eroding cliffs has taken a major step forward, with hopes works could start in Autumn 2023.

East Devon District Council is thrilled to announce the Seaton Hole Beach Management Plan, which has been several years in the making, has been rubber stamped by the Environment Agency.

The work, which will bring improved protection to 41 homes above the cliffs, will involve upgrading and extending the existing rock structures on the beach. This should reduce the rate of erosion to the base of the cliff, as the toe will be better protected from storms thanks to the additional rock placed on the existing rock, which will offer more protection to the toe of the cliffs from storms.

Due to the worsening condition of the concrete covered rock section to the west of the beach, works here have been advanced ahead of the main BMP scheme, and are due to start in 2022, with other works requiring more detailed planning and consultation. All being well, construction could start in Autumn 2023 on the remainder of the scheme.

Back in 2019, the scheme had a funding gap of  just over £400k, however this has been closed by both the positive changes in central government funding rules, but also the hard work by EDDC officers, and members of the Seaton BMP Stakeholder group as well as further local funding being found.

The next step is to begin detailed design and further consultation to allow the project to be tendered.

Councillor Jack Rowland, who represents the Seaton ward and is EDDC’s portfolio holder for finance, said:

It’s great news that the funding is now in place to enable works to proceed to provide more protection for Seaton beach at the western end beyond West Walk that is even more essential in the light of climate change and the associated risks to our coastline.

Cllr Geoff Jung, EDDC’s portfolio holder coast, country and environment, added:

Our officers and staff are working on various schemes with agencies and other authorities to protect our vulnerable areas of coast line, which due to climate change estimations will result in sea-level rise and increased storm events effecting our coast and low laying areas.

This scheme is just one of many which will provide the required protection for these predicted changes.

Therefore, it's fantastic news we are able to move forward in the knowledge we have the required funding in place.