At the recent Beach Management Plan meeting: “Pennington Point has now been recognised as giving protection to Sidmouth”
Where are we now with the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan?
The Advisory Group met up yesterday, Thursday 30th June, to consider the latest proposals:
The group hadn’t met since October last year – with the official report here:
And the VGS report of the meeting here, at 25th October 2021: From the BMP Steering Group – Vision Group for Sidmouth
At the time, the press was also reporting about more central government money being available:
Nine months on, there is the realisation that there will be a £4.5 million shortfall, that this will not in fact cover costs for the proposed ‘hybrid option’ Beach Management Plan – but the suggestion now is that the District Council will borrow the funds to cover recent inflation rises.
As previously agreed the ‘hybrid option’ will be looked into further, with a detailed design stage also promised. There is no intention to drop the Hybrid and go back to the ‘Preferred Option’.
The ‘official’ minutes from the meeting will be forthcoming. In the meantime, here is the report of yesterday’s session from the VGS rep Mary Walden-Till, at 30th July 2022:
Mary notes the considerable frustration and the “surprising statements made during the meeting” – one such surprise being the observation by chair Geoff Jung that “Pennington Point has now been recognised as giving protection to Sidmouth” (at 1:12:40 in the video) – and that “PP is now almost a requirement to keep it in its existing place”.
This was corroborated by group member Tony Burch’s comment that one of the main drivers for the BMP at Eastern Beach was to “protect the housing in Sidmouth”. Tony was a previous Engineering project manager at EDDC.
This is also something the VGS has brought up consistently over the last years – that “Pennington Point has been recognised as giving protection to Sidmouth” and not just ‘now’ – although, as EDDC officer Tom Buxton-Smith suggested, it took an actual recent site visit by the consultants to realise the importance of Pennington Point: