Third sea defence scheme for Clacton aims to save cliffs from erosion

One of the new beaches at Clacton created by the sea defence scheme.

One of the new beaches at Clacton created by the sea defence scheme. - Credit: Archant

Cliffs along the Clacton seafront could be shored up in a new third phase of sea defence work which has been unveiled.

Work is due to complete in the autumn on a £36million project along a 5km stretch of coastline between Holland Haven and Clacton Pier, saving thousands of homes from being at risk of falling into the sea.

Funding for the scheme came from Tendring District Council (TDC), Essex County Council and the Environment Agency.

Now Anglian Water has pledged £3million to a newly announced third phase.

It is hoped this additional work, which will look directly at the stability of cliffs along the seafront, will begin in the 2016/17 financial year.

A study has been carried out following recent instability and wet weather winter conditions in the Clacton and Holland Cliffs. Along with future events, it could have an impact on the scheme which protects the toe of the slope from coastal erosion.

Nick Turner, cabinet member for coastal protection at TDC, revealed the funding and extra project phase during a full council meeting this week and welcomed the significant financial input from Anglian Water, adding he hoped other utility companies would also chip in.

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He said: “This is a great example of the public and private sector working together on a project of regional, if not national, importance.

“We will be contacting other companies about Anglian Water’s input to encourage them to do the same.”

Jonathan Glerum, flood risk manager at Anglian Water, added: “We welcome the opportunity to continue working in partnership with TDC along the coast.

“Funding partner projects like this is a first for the water industry and one that we are pioneering to reduce the risk of flooding while at the same time getting the best value for customers’ money.

“Between now and 2020 we will invest more than £8million in a variety of partner schemes.”

The main sea defence scheme has seen new rock groynes completed, with new beach material now being added.

Seven beaches in phase one at Holland-on-Sea, and three beaches in phase two, have already opened to the public.

The project, which will protect more than 3,000 properties for the next 100 years, is currently under budget and ahead of schedule.

Mr Turner added: “That is something quite rare for a scheme of this complexity and cost. It is due in large part to the close monitoring by TDC officers, our project managers Mott MacDonald and through the co-operation of our main contractors VBA Ltd.”