A number of different options to improve Seaton’s sea defences where necessary will be investigated as part of the town's Beach Management Plan

Seaton community will have the chance to meet officers and environmental experts involved in the project and to discuss results of initial analysis of coastal flooding and erosion issues affecting town

Seaton’s local community will have the opportunity to learn more about how the town’s Beach Management Plan (BMP) is progressing at a drop-in session on Wednesday 30 August, from 3pm onwards, at the Marshlands Centre in Seaton.

At the session people will be able to meet officers from East Devon District Council (the project lead) and  the council’s consultants CH2M to discuss the outcomes of the initial analysis for Seaton’s BMP, which has recently been completed by CH2M.

CH2M has been looking at information from a wide variety of sources including East Devon, The Environment Agency, Coastal Monitoring and local people to produce their initial analysis of the environment, coastal defences, coastal processes, as well as flood and erosion damages. These baselines will be used to inform future actions of the BMP, including looking at options to improve Seaton’s sea defences where necessary.

Overall, there are relatively few properties at risk from flooding and coastal erosion in the town, largely in part due to work already carried out by East Devon, the Environment Agency and their predecessors to manage any potential threats. However, with around 20 residential properties at risk of flooding during more extreme storms and around 40 properties at risk to the West of the town as the cliffs erode over the next 100 years, it will be necessary to look at how those risks are managed in the future.

The review of Seaton’s defences has shown that overall the town’s coastal defences are in good condition. However, there are some areas, which aren’t as good, particularly towards the West of the town, where the beach has been more dynamic. As with all projects of this nature, the options for improving coastal defences will need to be balanced against the potential expenditure in improving the protection to those homes.

CH2M’s initial research has so far shown that works to improve defences in Seaton could be eligible for up to £0.5 million of funding from the Government to help manage these risks. Costs in excess of this will need to be met by partnership funding, which could include contributions from local residents, businesses, and property development.

The next stage of the project will be to start to review potential options that can be used to manage the town’s coastal defences in the future. These options will be discussed with statutory bodies, such as the Environment Agency and Natural England, as well as with stakeholders (including East Devon’s lead councillor for Seaton, Seaton Town Council, Axmouth Harbour Management Company, Seaton Town Development Team, Seaton Chamber of Commerce, Seaton Parkrun, West Seaton and Seaton Hole Residents Association and Axmouth Parish Council) and the public later in the Autumn. 

Dave Turner, East Devon District Council's Engineering Projects Manager, said:

"All the information we've had from the local community has been really helpful in moving the project forwards and we're looking forwards to presenting the findings of CH2M's work at the next drop-in session."