In the project summary of the BMP, the EA states:
The combined scheme protects all of the frontages at Sidmouth and includes raising the splash wall to increase the standard of protection, constructing a new groyne on East Beach to slow erosion of the cliffs, establish a beach and protect the Eastern end of town as well as beach replenishment across the entire frontage.
In other words, a splash wall is integral to the BMP – despite strong objections from over the summer:
The current BMP proposal would create a massive rock groyne:
But, as clearly and regularly outlined by other members of the BMP steering group, there are alternatives:
Yesterday, as reported in the Herald, the BMP and splash wall were discussed at the monthly Town Council meeting:
Sidmouth seafront splash wall could be mix of glass, seating and planting
An update on the £9million plan to give the town the vital sea and flood protections is needs, as part of the Sidmouth and East Cliff Beach Management Plan (BMP), was discussed at the latest Sidmouth Town Council meeting on Monday, January 7.
Giving an update, Councillor Geoff Jung, portfolio holder for the environment at East Devon District Council, said whatever they did they had to have the one-metre splash wall – without it they will not get the BMP funding for any beach protections.
He added: “We are not calling it a sea wall any more, we are calling it a splash barrier because we don’t envisage having a splash wall all the way along. We have spoken to engineers and they say the height has to be a metre at least. They would prefer one at least two metres but that would be totally unacceptable to anyone I know of. There nearest we can go to is a metre – it might be slightly less than a metre in some places it might be slightly more.”
Cllr Jung said they would be putting up a trial pane of glass in Sidmouth this month to test to see if it survives the storms. He added they have tested it but it had not been tried on a pebble beach before. They also hope to test whether it is vandal proof.
He added: “We don’t have to have a wall all the way along. It would not have to be concrete like it is now – it can be designed to have seating in it and planting. We could enhance the seafront and incorporate the sea wall but it will take a lot of thought, a lot of time and possibly more money.”
Cllr Jung said the district council was looking at meeting the current £1million funding shortfall. And, they were looking at reviewing engineering requirements, costs and possible funding from Defra and utility companies. Cllr Jung also said they will be approaching new East Devon MP Simon Jupp to see if he can help at a national Government level.
Cllr Jung said EDDC hoped to have a timetable of when works could start by Easter.
The Sidmouth Nub news highlights the need for a splash wall:
Sidmouth splash wall must be one metre tall but it can be ‘enhanced’ council toldThe chairman of Sidmouth’s Beach Management Plan Steering Group, councillor Geoff Jung, told councillors at a full meeting of Sidmouth town council that the wall must be at least one metre high but the wall does not have to be entirely concrete. It could be ‘enhanced’ with glass panels, built in seating and planting.
Councillor Jung told Sidmouth Town Council: “No matter what we do now, due to climate change, sea levels will rise by one metre over the next 100 years. The beach level in Sidmouth has been tremendously varied over the last few decades. Engineers tell us it has to be at least one metre high, the engineers would actually prefer the wall to be significantly higher. It might be slightly less than a metre in some places. We don’t envisage it running along the entire length of the seafront.”
A number of glass panels will be installed along Sidmouth seafront this month to see if they can survive stormy weather and potential damage from shingles being thrown up against the seafront in storms. We could actually enhance the seafront with this barrier. It will just take more thought and possibly more money. There are ways of having of having a splash defence without it intruding on the town. Without a splash wall the town is at risk of being inundated with properties flooded.”
He added: “There will be a Boscastle flooding event every three years and it could be Sidmouth. With short river catchment areas and high hills around you Sidmouth is susceptible to both surface and sea water.”
Mr Jung also pointed out that some panels on the proposed splash wall could be ‘dropped down’ during the summer season to reduce the visual impact of the wall. A team would have to be put in place to manage the drop down panels. This could be a group of volunteers or a paid for service.
During the meeting Mr Jung also told councillors the work on Sidmouth seafront should no longer be referred to as a splash wall. “We’re not calling it a splash wall any more, it’s a splash barrier. It’s got a bad name, we prefer barrier.”