Work on the £36m Clacton to Holland on Sea Coast Protection Scheme is now fully underway.
The old groynes along the first kilometer of beach, opposite the Port of London Authority Radar Mast, have been removed and the Sospan Dau, a shallow draft dredging vessel, has recharged with sand and shingle to ensure a solid platform for the heavy equipment to work from.
The first rock shipment from Norway took place in the early hours of Thursday 28 August and it is planned that rock will continue to be delivered at high tide for the next six to eight weeks with new groyne construction taking place two to three hours either side of low water.
Further old groyne removal and temporary beach recharge by the Sospan Dau will commence mid-September along the next stretch of beach frontage from the Kings Parade/Esplanade to Cliff Road. This will be followed by rock delivery and new groyne construction.
The current works programme runs through to early January and a decision on continuing to work through the winter will be taken later this autumn when more accurate weather predictions are available.
Over the past few weeks the scheme has attracted hundreds of spectators and as the works are to continue 24/7, this will provide plenty of opportunities over the next few months to watch the barge delivering the rock and the heavy equipment at work on the beach.
The beaches within this phase of the scheme will remain closed where work is taking place however the promenade will be open to the public whenever possible but it will need to be temporarily closed for public safety when activities on the beach dictate, and this will include access to beach huts.
These closure decisions will be taken by the site team on a day by day, hour by hour basis and the times and duration will vary due to changing weather and sea condition. Marshalls will be on site at either end of closures to inform the public.
Nick Turner, Tendring District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Coast Protection, said: “It is tremendously exciting to see another phase of this project get underway. The delivery of the rocks to the beach and the heavy equipment that is starting to build our new groynes is all about protecting people’s homes and building the future for our District. In less than two years, we will have 22 new beaches and work is already underway to review the opportunities that these beaches will bring.”