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

Holland-on-Sea cliff stabilisation

Contractors completed works on a £5 million project to stabilise and improve cliffs in Holland-on-Sea, providing vital protection to homes and businesses for decades to come.

The scheme, carried out by Tendring District Council, finished in time for the 2019 Clacton Airshow.

The project, built by Jackson Civil Engineering involved stabilising a 500 metre section of the coastal slope using a specialist drainage system. A new accessible ramp was also introduced, improving access from the top of the cliff down to the seafront and the beaches – themselves newly created over the past few years in a £35m coastal defence scheme to protect the seafront from coastal erosion.

The team from Jackson was also recognised by the Considerate Constructors Scheme for its high quality community engagement and awarded a ‘Beyond Compliance’ certificate for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Initiatives included working with Holland Haven Primary School to produce artwork for the site compound fencing and sponsoring the Holland-on-Sea Christmas Tree for 2018. To enable construction the team temporarily removed and stored 80 beach huts with the support from owners, with a local carpenter employed to make repairs to huts before and during relocation.

These have since been returned to the promenade and are now situated on a new, hard standing concrete base to increase the beach hut lifespan.


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: 11/07/2022 - 15:47