Beach plan launched to protect Seaton

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:44 10 January 2017

Old Beer Road which was the victim of of coastal erosion.  Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shb 1641-07-14TI

Old Beer Road which was the victim of of coastal erosion. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shb 1641-07-14TI

Archant

Community groups and district councillors have met for the first time to discuss the brief for a beach management plan (BMP) for Seaton.

The resort’s pebble beach is an integral part of the town’s defences from flooding and coastal erosion, diffusing wave energy and protecting the seawall from damage, as well as reducing wave overtopping.

Once it has been formulated, Seaton’s BMP will act as a tool for managing the beach and minimising the risks of flood and coastal erosion. The plan will take into account the other uses and functions of the town’s beach and, where possible, enhance or promote them.

It is envisaged that Seaton’s BMP will cover the coast from Seaton Hole in the west along to Axe Harbour in the east.

The meeting was chaired by Seaton mayor and EDDC member Marcus Hartnell. Representatives from the town council, the town development team, Seaton parkrun, Axe Yacht Club and Seaton Sea Anglers also attended.

Topics for discussion ranged from concerns over cliff stability along Old Beer Road and aspirations for the seafront to improved landing facilities for tourist boats.

In addition to the stakeholder group, which will be contributing its expertise and local knowledge, the Environment Agency (EA) will also be acting as professional partners and will assist the council in the completion of the brief. They will also tender the project with a view to appointing a consultant who will undertake preparation of the BMP in 2017.

The project will be tendered in the new year with planned completion in autumn 2017.

Councillor Iain Chubb, EDDC’s environment spokesman, said: “It is important that a long-term strategy is put in place to protect both the residential and commercial interests of Seaton.”

Cllr Hartnell said: “The development of a BMP for Seaton is vitally important so we have a clear plan going forward in managing our coastline and protecting our town. I found it particularly interesting listening to people who have had past experience of working off the beach, and understanding the reasons why they no longer operate. There were some interesting ideas as to how we could change this to encourage more activity on the beach, whilst also improving our coastal defences.”

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