Surfers Against Sewage warn bathers to avoid Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton after recent heavy rain

“Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location [Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton] within the past 48 hours.

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/urgent-warning-not-go-sea-2969102

“Environment Agency Chair calls for new approach to flood and coastal resilience”

“… Launching a major, long-term strategy to tackle flooding and coastal change, Environment Agency Chair, Emma Howard Boyd has said ‘we cannot win a war against water’ by building higher flood defences and called for a new approach to ensure communities are resilient to the threat of flooding posed by climate change.

Opening an 8-week consultation on the new strategy, Emma Howard Boyd said that the Environment Agency is preparing for a potential 4°C rise in global temperature and urgent action is needed to tackle more frequent, intense flooding and sea level rise.

Among the recommendations in the strategy, the Environment Agency has committed to working with partners to develop consistent standards for flood and coastal resilience across the country. To achieve these standards, communities should have access to a range of tools which give them control of how they prepare for and respond to flooding and coastal change, based on the challenges or flood risk that particular location may face.

These could include traditional defences, temporary barriers, natural flood management, sustainable drainage systems, effective flood warnings and emergency response, alongside designing and adapting existing properties and new development so they can recover quickly from a flood. …”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-agency-chair-calls-for-new-approach-to-flood-and-coastal-resilience

Seaside towns: “reinvent or die”

The report can be found here:
https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/regenerating-seaside-towns/news-parliament-2017/seaside-report-published/

ITV News summary:

“Seaside towns need to be reinvented to attract tourists and residents and become desirable places to live and visit, a parliament report has said.

The report called on improvements to education, housing and transport links, so seaside towns can “reinvent themselves with a long-term, place-based vision.”

In the Future of Seaside Town report, peers said poor transport links to seaside towns are “severely hindering” opportunities to improve tourism and attract funding.

They warned young people are at a disadvantage because of their limited access to education, especially post 16-education.

The report called on the government to improve digital connectivity, most notably high-speed broadband, saying doing so would provide an opportunity to “overcome the challenges of peripherality in coastal areas.”

Coastal towns which emerged as leisure and pleasure resorts in the 19th century have been neglected for “too long”.

The House of Lords select committee said these places should once again be “celebrated as places that can provide attractive environments for residents and visitors.”

The peers also called for ministers to set out how coastal areas will benefit from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace EU funding after Brexit, and to increase resources for the Coastal Communities Fund.

What is needed is a package of strategic initiatives and interventions where national and local government work together to address issues such as transport, housing, post-school education and high-speed broadband.
Lord Bassam of Brighton
Places like Brighton and Bournemouth have shown that the seaside can successfully reinvent itself.

Lord Bassam of Brighton said: “The potential impact of Brexit on these towns, particularly the hospitality sector, also remains an open question.

“A single solution to their economic and social challenges doesn’t exist. What is needed is a package of strategic initiatives and interventions where national and local government work together to address issues such as transport, housing, post-school education and high-speed broadband.”

He added: “The committee is confident that if our recommendations are pursued, seaside towns can once again become prosperous and desirable places to live in and visit.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “The Government is determined to ensure our economy works for everyone and every place.

“We are on track to invest £200 million in the Great British Coast by 2020 and recently announced a £36 million package of support to projects in coastal communities through our Coastal Communities Fund and Coastal Revival Fund.

“We have also made a commitment to support towns to harness their unique strengths to grow and prosper through the £1.6 billion Stronger Towns Fund.

“We recognise the challenges facing our seaside towns and will carefully consider the committee’s recommendations to build on the significant steps we have already taken to help coastal communities thrive.”

https://www.itv.com/news/2019-04-04/action-urged-to-reinvent-struggling-seaside-towns/

Temporary Exmouth seafront attractions have already cost us £300,000

Owl says: imagine if other coastal towns in East Devon had this much spent on them …

“Under questioning from [Independent councillor Megan Armstrong at last week’s East Devon District Council meeting, Councillor Philip Skinner revealed that £285,305, was spent by the council for the first year of the new attractions in Queen’s Drive, Exmouth.

Cllr Skinner said that the costs included £155,000 on the new dinosaur-themed play park, as well as other costs on the beach bar seating area, the events stage and making the whole site safe.

He also said the council spent £22,850 putting on events such as free live screenings from the Royal Opera House.

Under questioning from councillor Megan Armstrong at last week’s East Devon District Council meeting, Councillor Philip Skinner revealed that £285,305, was spent by the council for the first year of the new attractions in Queen’s Drive, Exmouth.

Cllr Skinner said that the costs included £155,000 on the new dinosaur-themed play park, as well as other costs on the beach bar seating area, the events stage and making the whole site safe.

He also said the council spent £22,850 putting on events such as free live screenings from the Royal Opera House.

In response, Councillor Skinner said he didn’t expect to be facing criticism for investing money in Exmouth.

He said: “We are trying to get more people into the town, and to get them to spend more money there.

“It shouldn’t be a criticism that we are investing more in Exmouth and the town councillors should be chuffed to think we are investing in the town.

“We tried new things and people did like them.

“Some events didn’t go well, but others did.

“We made all of our revenue costs back and made a profit, and I expect to do so in future.

“We are continuing to invest in Exmouth’s seafront and have also been invited to a Stage 2 bid for Coastal Communities Fund that will further benefit the seafront.

“For 2019, our budget is £75,000, which includes staffing, event cost, equipment hire, maintenance, security and utility costs.

“We expect to secure income of between £30,000 and £40,000 this year, depending on sponsorship secured, and a further £12,000 for the big wheel.”

https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/seafront-attractions-cost-1-5917372

K’ching! 3 bids in for Sidmouth seafron Drill Hall

“East Devon District Council has received three ‘interesting and diverse’ bids for the site following the consultation period, which ended on Friday, February 4.

A core group made up of Sidmouth and East Devon town and district councillors are now considering the bids, working with property agent JLL which has managed the marketing.

A council spokesman said at the moment the details of the bids must remain confidential and recommendations will be made for East Devon District Council’s cabinet for approval at a later date. …”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/final-bids-to-be-considered-to-transform-sidmouth-drill-hall-1-5891620

“Sidmouth sea defences could cost double the £9m expected”

NOT unexpected to Owl! At the moment, decisions on whether to fund are done on a “cost per dwelling saved” and that factors in the value of the dwelling. As costs rise (and possibly house prices level out ot fall) and austerity continues, the less likely DEFRA is to fund projects.

“The current estimated cost of the project is around £9milion over its entire lifespan – around £5.7million is expected to be funded by central government, leaving a funding gap of around £3.3million.

At a recent steering group committee, additional offshore breakwaters were discussed and it was explained again that although the breakwaters may present a more robust solution technically, they would come at almost double the cost.

The cost has been re-examined recently by consultants Royal HaskoningDHV and they have confirmed that the previous costings as part of the Beach Management Plan were correct.

Royal HaskoningDHV also presented some of the more detailed outline design drawings they are now working on, which have been developed with the use of 3D models to help ensure that costs for the volumes of rock and shingle are estimated accurately.

Additional surveys are being carried out along the seafront to help inform the outline design of the splash wall.

The proposals also include improving maintenance access onto East Beach for future recycling and replenishment.

Royal HaskoningDHV’s thorough tests and methodical approach has resulted in a proposal to recharge the beach with a 10 metre flat section at the top, and a suggested increase in the height of the splash wall of up to 0.5 metres from its existing level, with sections of lower height where the beach is less exposed. …”

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/sidmouth-sea-defences-could-cost-double-1-5875210