Clacton/Holland: ‘Vital’ beach exploration work is completed ahead of schedule

Nick Turner, Tendring District Councils cabinet member for the environment and coast protection

Nick Turner, Tendring District Councils cabinet member for the environment and coast protection - Credit: Contributed

Contractors have completed essential ground investigation works on beaches from Clacton to Holland as part of preparations for a major sea defence scheme.

Structural Soils Ltd undertook the work on behalf of Tendring District Council (TDC) and finished the task ahead of schedule.

It had been expected that it could take up to two weeks working at low tide but the team were off site after just four days. They created five boreholes, each one 10 metres deep, at various locations involved in the major sea defence scheme. The areas were all fenced off to maintain safety.

There were also 15 trial pits dug up to one metre deep by an excavator tracking from an access ramp.

Consultants for the project Mott MacDonald also had an engineer on site to answer any questions from the public.

Nick Turner, TDC’s cabinet member for environment and coast protection, praised the company that carried out the work.

“The team – which came from Somerset – did a first class job and completed what needed to be done very quickly and efficiently,” he said.

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“This is a further important step forward for the overall project and we now need to wait until next month to see if the scheme gets the financial and technical go-ahead from the Environment Agency.

“The bore holes and trial pits are a vital part of the project plan and an essential part of the programme.”

The final stage of the bid for the scheme between Clacton Pier and Holland Haven was submitted to the Environment Agency in May. Provided it gets the green light, the target is to start work in 2014/15.

Mott MacDonald drew up a number of options for the project which were put out for public consultation earlier this year. The council has agreed to the option which involves fishtail groynes as well as a beach recharge.

Provided the scheme goes ahead it will be the second largest coastal protection scheme currently in the pipeline in the UK.

“I am delighted that the ground investigation works were undertaken with the minimum of disturbance to anyone using our beaches and are another step in achieving our ultimate goal,” added Mr Turner.