Sea wall plans set to get the go ahead

CONTROVERSIAL plans to construct a new sea wall at Tollesbury Wick Nature Reserve look set to be given the go-ahead next week.Currently, it is calculated that sea levels are rising by 6mm each year andEssex Wildlife Trust has applied to build a 950-metre long counter sea wall across the site near Maldon, in a bid to protect the area from future flooding.

CONTROVERSIAL plans to construct a new sea wall at Tollesbury Wick Nature Reserve look set to be given the go-ahead next week.

Currently, it is calculated that sea levels are rising by 6mm each year and

Essex Wildlife Trust has applied to build a 950-metre long counter sea wall across the site near Maldon, in a bid to protect the area from future flooding.

The reserve incorporates more than 200 hectares of unimproved coastal grazing marsh which is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and a special protection area because of the rare plants and invertebrates which live there and the number of wintering and breeding birds it attracts.

The plan would see the 2m high wall running in a north-west/south-east direction across the site, connecting to the coastal sea wall at both ends.

A report to Maldon District Council's north-western area planning committee says: "This is a strategic response to the long-term forecast of an increased risk of flooding to Tollesbury Wick Marshes. The counter sea wall would effectively act as a bund which would protect the western part of the site should overtopping of the main coastal sea wall occur."

Most Read

However, there have been objections to the plans, including fears it will put the present sea wall and low tide Leavings Hard at risk by either beaching or erosion, while some people think it is in the wrong place.

Tollesbury Parish Council believes the proposal would spoil the landscape and feels that the counter wall would not be strong enough to withstand the effects of a severe breach of the existing sea wall.

Geoff Vote, commodore of Tollesbury Sailing Club, said: "Our fear is not so much building a new wall but we would like to see some sort of impact study carried out which would show what the implications would be if the existing wall were to deteriorate further.

"If the SSSI floods there could be a great impact on water activities, especially if we see silting up of the channels."

On Mondaythe planning committee is expected to give permission for the counter wall to be built, subject to a range of conditions, including an assurance that the work will not be carried out when it could disturb breeding or overwintering birds.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter