Sidmouth Beach Management Plan Available for Comment

East Devon District Council’s project team for the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan (BMP) has sent the draft management plan and options appraisal to the BMP steering group (SG).

This is to allow the different SG members time to comment over the next month before the BMP is completed by early November.

The options appraisal report, which was issued on Tuesday, 20 September 2016, summarizes the work carried out to date by CH2M (the council’s coastal flood and erosion risk management consultants) on the coastal processes, economics, defense assessment, environmental impacts and includes an appraisal of the shortlisted options.

The BMP itself sets out the plan for the management, monitoring and maintenance of the beach and hard defenses across Sidmouth and East Beach, as well as an action plan to guide the future management of this area.

It aims to provide a technically, environmentally and socially sustainable management approach for the next five years, including further development of the long-term preferred option

The beach management plan recognizes that a form of offshore breakwaters (either parallel to the shore or angled) is the technically preferred option to maintain a healthy beach at Sidmouth and reduce erosion on East Beach.

However, giving consideration to which option provides the best balance between technical viability, environment acceptability and affordability, the beach management plan recommends that the best option in the long term to protect Sidmouth from flooding and erosion is to construct one or two new rock groynes on East Beach and to shorten the River Sid training wall and East Pier.

This intervention would be supported by ongoing recharge (import of new shingle) and recycling (moving shingle along the beach as required). To deliver this option will require around £2.3 million of partnership funding locally, which will be a challenge.

Should work by the funding sub-group over the next six months demonstrate that a higher level (around £11 million) of partnership funding is available locally, then the preferred option could change.

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