Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: and (again) failing to get answers to technical questions from the District Council
The question currently being raised is whether the rock groynes and islands on Sidmouth beach have been responsible for the cliff erosion of the last twenty years:
According to District Council officers: The BMP coastal processes baseline report (executive summary and page 102 – 106) sets out very clearly the consideration of possible causes of increased erosion at East Beach.
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Beach Management Plan: documents assessing flood and erosion risk now on-line
In fact the answer had already been given some time ago:
Action plan to tackle problem of cliff erosion
2 February 2012
This is Exeter
‘EDDC Cabinet members were due to decide that £27,000 should be put towards a Beach Management Plan as a way of tackling rapid cliff erosion in Sidmouth. The idea had been suggested by a working party that was set up to look at the issue of erosion at Pennington Point.
In November, councillors on the council's development management committee agreed that a working party should form after considering a coastal erosion protection scheme that had been submitted by cliff-top residents who said their homes were threatened. It is thought that their homes could fall over the cliff within 15 years if action is not taken to halt the erosion.
The report by head of economy Kate Little confirmed that "accelerated erosion" had occurred since 1996 – after the installation of rock groynes along the seafront in 1995.
The money would be taken from the council's capital budget for which there is £27,000 remaining from emergency works in 2009. The plan was recommended for approval by council officers at the Cabinet's meeting last night.
VGS FUTURES FORUM - minutes 16jan12
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Beach Management Plan Steering Group - background
EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL Minutes of a Meeting of the Cabinet held in the Council Chamber, Knowle, Sidmouth on Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Flooding risk to Sidmouth through the effects of Coastal erosion at Pennington Point/Salcombe Hill
Cliff The Chairman invited Paul Griew to speak on behalf of the Cliff Road Action Group. Mr Griew advised of the campaign to reduce the current unnatural rate of erosion which was putting homes at risk, causing potential danger to users of the beach, risking flooding of the east of Sidmouth and loss of the cliff footpath. He advised that the campaign was supported by the Chamber of Commerce, Hoteliers, the Town Council and the Sid Vale Association.
He said that the rate of erosion had increased unnaturally since the rock islands had been created, causing the loss of shingle at the base of the cliff and leaving it vulnerable.
The application to protect the cliff with rock revetment had been withdraw to await the recommendations of the working party.
Here is further input from the District Council on why there has been so much more erosion of the cliffs since the rock islands and groynes were built:
Sidmouth campaigners welcome cliff erosion solution vow
25 November 2011
ACTION PLEA: Cliff Road residents descended on Knowle to hand over a planning application in April
CAMPAIGNING Cliff Road residents welcomed a district council pledge to urgently address Sidmouth’s rapidly eroding eastern cliffs.
It’s all been worthwhile if it gets action,” said homeowners who fear having to abandon their properties within 20 years. Paul Griew withdrew plans for a rock revetment at Pennington Point as councillors were set to reject proposals. “This is not even the end of the beginning,” Mr Griew said last Tuesday’s decision. I felt the councillors were saying they were actually prepared to do something, and to do it fast to alleviate all the problems. I won’t put my faith in the council until I see action.”
Development management committee members conceded that offshore rock islands have accelerated erosion of Sidmouth’s eastern cliffs. “I have massive sympathy for the plight of residents in Cliff Road, which appears to have been caused by man-made intervention,” said Councillor Phil Twiss. “I feel guilty there’s a significant risk we generated the problem,” added Cllr Ben Ingham.
Cllr Peter Sullivan added: “If there is a major storm there one evening it will affect a lot of people. The economics of the town would be devastated.”
Residents had pleaded for plans to be given the go-ahead. “This is a plea to ensure you see this application as for the good of the Sidmouth community,” said Lois Kelly. “This is not a matter to be trifled with,” added Peter Hand.
“For the umpteenth time we say deal with it, and deal with it properly,” said Richard Eley, chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce. “Please just get on with it.” He said council meetings on a cliff erosion solution over the years had been a “chronic waste of public money”.
Sidmouth campaigners welcome cliff erosion solution vow | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
Today, the cliffs are eroding at an alarming rate:
Futures Forum: Pennington Point cliff falls and the Beach Management Plan >>>>>> campaigning for action to deal with coastal erosion at the rate of a metre a year
Beach erosion is connected to cliff erosion:
Futures Forum: Pennington Point: "If action is taken to manage the beach erosion - that should contribute to managing erosion of the cliffs as well."
... which is connected to Alma Bridge:
Futures Forum: A replacement for Alma Bridge: 'scheme can only happen if cliff erosion is slowed'
And it's all getting worse because of the rock groynes and islands:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Beach Management Plan >>> Pennington Point "was once protected by shingle, but the 1995 sea defences led to the eastern beach being washed out - exposing Pennington Point and putting the eastern town at risk."