A meeting of the Sidmouth Beach Management Steering Group will take place on 13 September to allow members of the local community, as well as statutory partners, such as the Environment Agency and Natural England, to meet with East Devon District Council’s project team and project consultants Royal HaskoningDHV.
The meeting will give Royal HaskoningDHV the opportunity to explain the investigatory work that has already begun, as well as the computer modelling and outline design, which will continue over the next 12 months.
The more detailed flood modelling, project costs and environmental appraisal will be used to help build a business case for Sidmouth’s Beach Management Scheme, which will be submitted to the Environment Agency for their approval next summer.
The scheme aims to maintain a healthy beach along Sidmouth and East Beaches and to maintain the town’s protection against coastal flooding, while also reducing the rate of erosion on East Beach.
As part of the investigations for the scheme, a survey and sampling of the sediment from the seabed along the coast of Sidmouth has recently been completed by Plymouth Coastal Observatory, who manage regular monitoring of the coastline around the south west of England.
Royal HaskoningDHV will be using that data, as well as other information, including Met Office data on storm conditions to develop and validate computer models of the coastline at Sidmouth. These models will be used to assess the risk of flooding under various beach conditions, and also to calculate the response of the beaches to storm conditions.
To deliver the most cost effective option identified within the BMP, an estimated £3.3m of partnership funding is still required from sources that are yet to be secured. Without this, funding from central government for a scheme at Sidmouth will not be available.