Coast Protection and Flood Defence

The Council has a coastline of 60km and maintains the sea defence structures along 18.5km of this frontage. These defences protect the towns of Harwich, Dovercourt, Walton on the Naze, Frinton on Sea, Holland on Sea, Clacton and Brightlingsea.

Works undertaken range from day to day maintenance of promenades and seawalls to the design and implementation of major capital schemes costing many millions of pounds. Each year several sections of the sea defences are renewed as part of a rolling programme of special maintenance schemes funded from the Council’s Revenue Budgets.

Larger schemes are produced to comply with Defra guidelines and their High Level Targets for coast protection.

All works are designed in house using modern surveying techniques and the latest computer aided design technology.

Other work carried out includes the maintenance of the cliff paths and slopes.

Current and completed coast protection works around the district

Cliff stabilisation, Clacton and Holland on Sea

Contractors have begun works on a £5 million project to stabilise and improve cliffs in Holland-on-Sea.  

The scheme was unveiled last year, and since a public exhibition in October 2017 which showed strong support for the plans, the team has been busy working on various aspects of the project. 

Reptile-proof fencing was installed in March around phases one and two of the scheme, with the animals set to be relocated to nearby slopes before construction begins.
A planning application for the scheme was approved by TDC’s Planning Committee on 26 June.

A site compound has been set up at Hazlemere car park for the main contractor, Jackson Civil Engineering. They began preliminary works on site in August last year and now much of the piling and support works have been completed. Engineers have begun the difficult task of installing complex drain systems within the cliffs, which will reduce the impact of water causing subsidence on the cliffs.

The project will see a stretch of the cliffs between Gunfleet Sailing Club and the Flags Café stabilised, which will both protect them from future collapse and allow better access to the beach from the seafront road, particularly for wheelchair users and those with mobility problems.

Now beach huts along the promenade where work is taking place have been relocated to the compound, while memorial benches are also being securely stored for the duration of the project.
Permanent works have begun, with the installation of structures to support the slope. These works include piling, with a large crane on site, and will take around two months to complete.

Slope regrading – making the slopes shallower – started in March 2019, and the whole project is due to be completed, weather permitting, by Summer 2019.

The scheme has been funded by Tendring District Council (TDC) and cash left-over from the £36m new beach scheme. 

Contractors are also working with Holland Haven Primary School on a pupil art project connected to the scheme.

The Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan (SMP)

The Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan covers approximately 440km of coast from Landguard Point in Felixstowe to Two Tree Island in the Thames Estuary, including Southend.  It will determine the best ways to look after this part of the coast in a sustainable way for the next 100 years.

The public consultation took place from March to June 2010.  There was an extremely good response, with the Environment Agency receiving over 180 formal responses.  Officers and local councillors considered which comments would lead to changes in the draft SMP document and in particular where comments would lead to a change in flood risk management policy for a frontage. The Shoreline Management plan was then approved. For more information go to the website.

Contact Details

If you would like to know more about our coast protection projects, please contact or call 01255 686956 or 686975.

Useful links and documents

Environment Agency

Essex County Council - Wildlife and Biodiversity

Essex Wildlife Trust

UK Fossils Network

Natural England

Naze Tower

Walton on the Naze official website


Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan

Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

Last updated on: 13/05/2019 - 12:19