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Information about the scheme
Why did we do the work
We had lost a substantial amount of the beach between Clacton to Holland on Sea, a facility which is important for local people and for the local economy. This coast protection scheme has provided beaches along the 5 kilometre stretch protecting the cliff and promenade which, together with rock groynes, will combat the effects of coastal erosion. Over 3,000 homes and businesses will be protected over the next 100 years. 23 new beaches in separate bays have been created which can be enjoyed at all states of the tide.
Getting the scheme started
There was a lot of background work to get this major coast protection scheme off the ground.
The project – the biggest ever for the District, costing up to £36 million and covering 5kms from Clacton Pier to Holland Haven – was signed off by the Environment Agency (EA) on the 10 September 2013.
Consultants Mott MacDonald prepared the Project Appraisal report (PAR) which was submitted to the EA in May 2013.
This developed and appraised sustainable coast protection options for the Clacton and Holland-on-Sea frontage required as part of the processes to secure technical approval and government grant funding towards the project.
The scheme will protect more than 3,000 homes and businesses for the next 100 years and is seen as a catalyst for the renaissance of that area.
We got the ball rolling in 2014 by putting up £3million which was matched by Essex County Council (ECC), with a further £1 million being committed by each authority.
Another £512,000 was successfully achieved through the Government’s Growth Fund money and £27.5 million came from Flood Defence Grant in Aid from the Environment Agency.
Securing the Growth Funding enabled the project to move forward at pace and for us to appoint Mott MacDonald to undertake the preliminary and detailed design early and in advance of the approval of the PAR.
The project team arranged topographical, geotechnical and bathymetric surveys along the scheme frontage to inform the design process and numerical and physical modelling is underway to enable the design to be optimised.
The physical modelling was carried out by HR Wallingford, who are experts at hydraulic research. The establishment tested the design under exacting conditions, recreating what would happen along the coastline in heavy storm conditions.
Planning consent for the scheme was granted on 7 January 2014 for the scheme.
A vital Marine licence was also secured. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) gave the all-clear for the work to be undertaken following our application. The MMO, which is based in Newcastle, granted the licence which authorises the marine activity to be carried out under the scheme.
VBA Joint Venture Ltd won the contract for the scheme.
We held an exhibition at Clacton Town Hall in Autumn 2013.
What was involved in the work
The scheme is made up of 23 fishtail rock groynes and approximately 950,000 cubic metres of sand and shingle beach recharge.
61 vessels delivered 270,000 tonnes of rock from Norway
349 trips were made to the offshore dredge site and 863,000m³ dredged and pumped to the foreshore
The groyne construction commenced by building out a bund from beach and core material to create access for the dry plant equipment. The core material for the groynes comprised crushed material from the existing structures and also smaller rocks from the quarry. The core material was placed by excavators and covered by a geotextile to form the middle of the structure, the toe of the structure was excavated first, the geotextile and toe rocks were then placed. Larger rocks were placed over the geotextile to form the fishtail rock groynes. Once the structures were completed the remainder of beach recharge material was brought in from the same licenced dredge site to form the design beach profile.
The beach recharge material comprises sand / shingle mix similar to the existing beach material along the frontage. The material was pumped onto shore, via a 800mm diameter pipe line, from a dredging vessel moored offshore during high water periods. The material formed a beach with a crest 18 metres wide and a level of 1 metre below the existing promenade level. Owing to the natural processes that occur on the beach, the shape of the beach will evolve over time.
Because the works were on a beach they were subject to tidal and weather impacts and were undertaken 7 days a week and 24 hours per day.
Phase 1 works between Holland Haven and Fernwood Avenue commenced 22 July 2014 and was completed and the beaches opened to the public on 24 January 2015.
Phase 2 works between Fernwood Avenue and Clacton Pier commenced end of March 2015 and the beaches were completed and fully opened to the public on 25 September 2015.
Frequently asked questions about the scheme
How long are the fishtail groynes?
Approximately 90 metres.
What is the distance between each of the groynes?
Approximately 220 metres.
How do fishtail groynes work?
The bigger arm is protection against the North Sea waves. The smaller arm for waves coming up from Kent.
How long will the groynes last?
The rocks should last at least 100 years with maintenance.
How many groynes are there?
There are 22 fishtail groynes and one terminal groyne, positioned near the radar mast.
Clacton Pier to Holland Haven area Local Development Order
Clacton Pier to Holland Haven area Local Development Order
The Local Development Order (LDO) for Clacton and Holland on Sea Seafront was approved by Planning Committee on the 11th November 2014.
Background and aims
Many parts of the seafront within the LDO area have, in recent years, suffered from a lack of investment due to the need to spend limited funds on essential promenade and coastal defence maintenance. Parts of the cliff and promenade have had to be closed at various stages for safety reasons.
Some of the privately-owned beach huts appear to have lacked investment to raise the standard of the hut because of a high risk of storm damage and probably because of the lack of local amenities such as good or accessible beaches. The lack of available funds has also meant that other seafront infrastructure in this area has been allowed to deteriorate and there is substantial space along this part of our coast to add new beach huts.
With the major investment of £36m in new coast defences which will provide new beaches along a 5km frontage from Clacton Pier to Holland Haven, there is an opportunity to improve existing infrastructure and develop 1st class 21st century facilities along this stretch of seafront, creating a new vibrant leisure offer of a superior standard for both residents & visitors alike.
In addition, there is a further opportunity to encourage privately-owned beach huts to be improved and maintain their facilities and help create development opportunities for local businesses and sustainable business offers, which will in turn lead to job opportunities for local people.
What does the LDO permit?
The Clacton Pier to Holland Haven LDO allows the erection of new (and alterations to existing) beach huts, kiosks, shelters and toilet blocks and permits the erection of other structures such as play, sports and leisure equipment and other similar associated facilities without the need for planning permission subject to a number of restrictions on the size, height, design and location of the new development within the LDO area:
- The construction and/or alteration of buildings or other structures up to 6 metres in height or up the level of the greensward at that location, whichever is greater, and no more than 10 metres by 20 metres in floor area.
- The LDO will not permit amusement arcades (sui generis).
- Any buildings should use a materials selection that reflects the human scale and the diversity of the seafront. The use of concrete for steps and primary construction elements will be acceptable but should not predominate and should be offset with a choice of complimentary materials.
- Development will not be permitted in the SSSI zone.
Area covered by the LDO
The LDO covers the area comprising the cliff slope, lower promenade and 20m of beach, measured from the seaward face of the promenade, along the 5kms of frontage from the north east boundaries of Clacton Pier and Clacton Pavilion towards Holland-on-Sea, ending at the Gunfleet Boating Club. No development will be permitted in the area of SSSI which falls within the area of the LDO.