District council earmarks £80,000 of taxpayers' cash for coastal defence plan

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 January 2018

Budleigh beach. Ref exb 31-16TI 5576. Picture: Terry Ife

Budleigh beach. Ref exb 31-16TI 5576. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

East Devon District Council is planning to set aside £80,000 of taxpayers' cash to investigate the long-term future of Budleigh Salterton's coastal defences.

Council agenda papers reveal the authority wants to ring-fence the cash as a ‘provisional estimate’ for the cost of obtaining central government funding for, and the production of, a beach management plan for the town.

A report to the joint overview and scrutiny committee meeting on January 17 proposes the council earmarks £80,000 from its 2018/19 budget to submit the ‘scope of plans’ to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), via the Environment Agency (EA) to access a flood defence grant.

If successful, it is hoped work to produce the blueprint document for the seaside resort could start in 2019.

The plan would set out how the authority intends to manage the flood and coastal erosion risk posed at Budleigh Salterton beach.

EDDC says it will consult with beach users, such as fishermen, to understand what is happening on that part of Jurassic Coast.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “BMPs outline the considerations and actions to be taken for the next five years.

“The StreetScene Service Plan includes a future item to obtain funding for and to produce a BMP for Budleigh Salterton beach.

“The current programme is to secure funding for the study in the next financial year and to commence work in 2019.

“As part of any BMP, the council will be looking to work with local stakeholders to identify issues, and concerns, which the plan needs to address at that time.

“For example, in Budleigh, this could include looking at management of the beach around the two main outfalls draining the town, and low-lying land to the East, which frequently requires clearing due to the ongoing accumulation of shingle.”

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