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2016 Beach Management Plan, minutes from VGS meeting 8th August

called to discuss the issues among Sidmouth stakeholders before the full meeting of the BMP on 17th August

Minutes of open meeting of the Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth


For the Sidmouth subgroup and stakeholders of the Beach Management Plan steering group


Monday 8th August 2016



DCC, EDDC and STC Cllr Stuart Hughes; EDDC and STC Cllr Marianne Rixson; EDDC and STC Cllr Matt Booth; EDDC and STC Cllr Cathy Gardner; EDDC and STC Cllr Dawn Manley;

STC Cllr Louise Cole (Neighbourhood Plan steering group deputy chair); STC Cllr Simon Pollentine;

Mary Bagwell (Sidmouth Trawlers); Richard Huntington (Gig Club, Port Royal);

Deirdre Hounsom (Neighbourhood Plan steering group chair); Richard Eley (Chamber); Alan Darrant (SVA chair); Graham Cooper (VGS and Neighbourhood Plan steering group);

Robert Crick (VGS Futures Forum chair); Jeremy Woodward (VGS Futures Forum secretary)



EDDC and STC Cllr John Dyson; EDDC and STC Cllr David Barratt;

STC Cllr Jeff Turner (STC chair); STC Cllr Marc Kilsbie; STC Cllr Frances Newth; STC Town Clerk Chris Holland;

Ed Harrison (SVA rep, BMP steering group); Richard Thurlow (SVA rep, BMP steering group);

Paul Griew (Cliff Road residents group); Oliver Salter (Sailing Club); Sidmouth Lifeboat representation; Chris Radford;


Presentation/briefing by Tony Burch (formerly of the BMP steering group and Environment Agency)


Following discussion, it was decided that, at the STC meeting on the same evening, it would be proposed that the STC chair would write to the chair of the BMP steering group in advance of the full meeting on Wednesday 17th August.


These were the points which were subsequently forwarded to the Town Clerk for consideration (with thanks to the VGS FF chair and attendees for their contributions):


> We welcome Halcrow/CH2M’s recognition that Option 4/4b and its variants are the best engineering solution in their latest report– and yet these have been rejected on the basis of cost.

> In which case: What is the evidential basis for dismissing Option 4/4b? How can this be justified before considering the points below, notably sources of funding?


>  Who is responsible for seeking clear advice in advance from NE, EA and WHS about which Options are in principle either more likely to be adopted or very unlikely to receive planning permission – thus enabling us to avoid waste by not taking unacceptable Options forward? What are the constraints and how would these Options be determined?


>  Do we not need a comparative analysis of two effective Options (whether by tank testing or computer modelling)?

>  Where will funds come from for testing and evaluating one or more Options?


> What are the sources of funding as considered by the project team and EDDC irrespective of the options? How do they envisage a potential split between national government, DCC and EDDC, and potentially STC funding? What other sources such as Coastal Communities Fund aside of partnership funding have they considered?

> Can Option 4/4b be dismissed before considering the potential sources of funding?


>  How might the costs of option 4 be mitigated? How have the costs been prepared? How do the costs breakdown? Can the larger groynes be reduced – and the material recycled to form further groynes?

> How comprehensive has the cost-benefit analysis of the Options been? How can the mainstay of the Sidmouth economy – namely tourism benefits – be properly taken into account?

> Has there been any quantification of the long-term costs and sustainability of different Options? For example, option 1 seems to require costly regular recharging and recycling of beach materials, whereas option 4b appears to offer a self-sustaining future for beach maintenance. Is it the case that the cliffs are to be protected by the beach under Option 4b, whereas Option 1 relies on the groyne itself to protect the eastern cliffs?

>  Would the SSSI, SSE, SAC, and WHS (and tourism) not be best served if the eastern cliffs were protected by an improved eastern beach – using an elegant cascade of Tombolo bays decreasing in size from west to east? Should not the ‘original concept’ for Option 4b be taken into account?


> Do all options have future proofing in light of current EA advice that over the coming century sea-levels will rise in the SW by 1.24 m ? Which option/s potentially offer the longest protection of over 100yrs?


> Did Cllr Moulding discuss the BMP with the head of NE and MP Sir Hugo Swire when they met in Sidmouth recently? What were they able to achieve and in what capacity would they be able to take this forward?


> Will the public consultation on the BMP be reopened in connection with the next phase of the Neighbourhood Plan consultation AND the consultation on the scoping of the Eastern Town, both of which will be profoundly affected by whatever BMP solution is adopted? Will any developer at Port Royal be expected to make a CIL contribution to a BMP?



Jeremy Woodward


Futures Forum, Vision Group for Sidmouth

9th August 2016, following meeting of 8th August 2016