“If the Environment Agency find the case sound, they will then give us the money for us to be able to do final design work and get it built.” [VGS @ Advisory Group meeting]
“We can see many problems with the proposed placing of the splash wall at Port Royal, which we hope is only a very rough idea at this stage. When it comes to the later design stages, we will be pressing for a more nuanced approach.” [VGS @ Advisory Group meeting]
How is the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan going?
Its Advisory Group meets up to look at just that:
The advisory group provides an important link between the community, businesses, regulatory bodies and the contracted consultants, in delivering the Beach Management Plan. The advisory group meet at key points during the project, where the technical analysis can be explained, queries can be raised and actions agreed to take forward the BMP to the next stage. Browse meetings – Sidmouth and East Beach BMP Project Advisory Group – East Devon and Committee details – Sidmouth and East Beach BMP Project Advisory Group – East Devon
It met up for the first time since June last week: Agenda for Sidmouth and East Beach BMP Project Advisory Group on Wednesday, 8th March, 2023, 2.00 pm – East Devon
With the full zoom session here: Sidmouth and East Beach BMP Advisory Group 8 March 2023 – YouTube
And the official press release here: 8 March 2023 – Massive step forward for Sidmouth coastal protection announced – East Devon
Which has been reported across the local media – each with a different take: ‘Massive step forward’ to protect Sidmouth seafront | Sidmouth Herald and Sidmouth’s under threat cliffs ‘saved’ as huge new plan agreed – Devon Live and Changes to Sidmouth beach management plan – Radio Exe and ‘Massive step forward’ for protection of Sidmouth beaches | Local News | News | Sidmouth Nub News and ‘Super-groyne’in changed £19m scheme to protect Sidmouth
Here are some key points from the report from the Vision Group’s representative Mary Walden-Till:
Advisory Group meeting 8th March 2023, zoom
This meeting was in large part to vote as to whether the Outline Business Case (OBC) was more or less what we had agreed to, obviously this was a challenge to the people who had not been present when things were decided previously.
For those of us who had been there it was clear that, barring typographical and other minor errors, this document did indeed reflect what we had expected and so it was passed unanimously. This does not mean that we now have a firm plan. It just means that the OBC will be good enough, after tidying up, to go to the Project Board who will then pass it to the Environment Agency (EA) for scrutiny. If they find the case sound they will then give us the money for us to be able to do final design work and get it built.
It was noted that we still have the problem of old ideas and drawings creeping in to documentation, which will lead to confusion. Such errors will also lead to anger as people will feel that concerns have been ignored. We hope that these mis-communications will be avoided in the future; especially in regard to the splash wall.
The other business of the meeting was for Tom Buxton-Smith to explain to us how things will progress from now on. There will need to be a sub-group to double check the OBC contains everything it should and has no errors. He asked for volunteers for this sub-group and many offered their efforts. Tom will create a sub-group from these volunteers. This sub-group and the current Consultants, Royal Haskoning, will ensure everything is ready for the Project Board to start commissioning designers and contractors to do the design and build section of the work.
Looking at the image released to accompany the Press Release from EDDC for the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan, the VGS response would be:
“We can see many problems with the proposed placing of the splash wall at Port Royal, which we hope is only a very rough idea at this stage. When it comes to the later design stages, we will be pressing for a more nuanced approach.”
Looking at the plan, what do you think of the proposal?