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Thumbs up for beach management plans
Thursday, 13 March 2014
Sidmouth residents have responded positively to plans for a new beach management project to help protect the town.
Members of the public were invited to attend a drop-in session to discuss the project and provide local knowledge to help the project team develop the plans.
Around 150 people attended the session at Sidmouth Sailing Club on Thursday of last week (March 6th) and offered information about the history of the beach and the impact of the sea and weather.
A range of photographic evidence was also provided that the project team will be saving for analysis.
Councillor Andrew Moulding, Chairman of the project steering group, said: “We are extremely grateful to all those members of the public for taking the trouble to come and see the team on Thursday. Their input will be invaluable.”
The aims of the East Devon District Council-sponsored project are to make sure Sidmouth’s sea defences are performing as expected and to consider what needs to be done to reduce the rate of erosion at East Beach.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP also visited Sidmouth last week to assess some of the issues affecting the town’s coastline.
During a tour of key sites around East Devon, Mr Paterson met representatives working on the beach management project in Sidmouth, including members of the Cliff Road Action Group (CRAG) who are assisting with the project.
Mr Paterson also heard from Assistant Project Manager Tony Burch, who explained how the project team is bringing together anecdotal evidence provided by the public and technical data to be collected by coastal management experts on behalf of the council.
Other groups involved with the project, which held its first meeting last month, include Natural England, Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Sid Vale Association and Vision Group for Sidmouth, as well as representatives from Sidmouth Lifeboat and Sidmouth Sailing Club.
Councillor Moulding added: “We would like to thank the Minister for taking the time to talk to us and local residents about the cliffs. He was able to see for himself what has been happening at Sidmouth in recent years.”
Residents will be given an opportunity to comment of a shortlist of options at a later stage of the project.
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