Credit EDDC
Credit EDDC

£150,000 worth of works to repair the existing sea defences at Seaton Hole will begin on Monday, 12 September.

Annual coastal inspections of this area by East Devon District Council (EDDC) have revealed the existing concrete and rock structure to be deteriorating much quicker than anticipated, so the refurbishment has been advanced ahead of the planned works as part of the Beach Management Plan (BMP) project.

Works will involve excavating the existing structure, repacking the existing rock, and pumping in new basalt reinforced concrete. This will help to slow erosion to the western cliffs at Seaton Hole.

EDDC is trialling basalt reinforced concrete as part of a lower carbon trial. Instead of steel, the concrete will have basalt reinforcement placed in it giving the structure a longer life, as basalt, compared to steel does not rust and expand which cracks the concrete, as well as an approximate saving of 40%.

Unfortunately the works will require the closure of the footpath from Seaton Hole to the beach, as concrete will need to be pumped down this access. The footpath is likely to be closed between Monday, 26 September to Wednesday, 19 October, meaning there will be no access to and from the beach to Seaton Hole above. This does not affect the official South West Coast Path however, which heads inland at this point. EDDC will sign the closure at either ends of the beach and encourage users to take the signed coastal path. The council would like to apologise for this closure as well as any noise and disruption of the works and construction traffic on the roads above.

The remaining elements of the BMP are under development and require further design and consultation before they can be built.

Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC’s Portfolio Holder for Coast, Country and Environment said:

I do appreciate that this access onto the beach at Seaton Hole is popular, but this work is essential to protect the safety of the footpath and access to the beach at this point, which over the years has taken some pounding from storms. However, this work is essential to maintain and protect the public access for the future. Therefore, I apologise for this short term inconvenience.