Canvey Island southern shoreline revetment project - information page

Closes 1 Nov 2024

Opened 10 May 2021

Overview

This project will maintain the existing high level of tidal flood risk protection to thousands of homes, businesses and infrastructure on Canvey Island into the future.  

Background

We will be renewing and improving the erosion protection on the seaward face of the tidal defences, known as revetment. This will take place along a 3km stretch between Thorney Bay and the Island Yacht Club as shown on the map below.

Canvey Island southern shoreline map

Map: Canvey Island southern shoreline. Red line indicates the area of revetment that we will be working on

This project will better protect the tidal defences against erosion and extend their useful life to 2070 in light of increasing sea levels due to climate change. These works extend the high standard of tidal flood risk protection provided by the Canvey Island tidal defences into the future, a key aspiration of the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan.

The works are planned to be delivered as part of the Thames Estuary Asset Management (TEAM) 2100 Programme.

Will the project provide any additional benefits?

The project will also deliver a number of additional benefits to the local area:

  • biodiversity improvements e.g. flowering grass seed mixes and rock pools;
  • amenity enhancements including new steps to the beach and foreshore areas, project information boards and way-finding markers;
  • improved public access along the seaward walkway with passing places in narrower areas such as the base of existing steps and ramps;
  • improved surfacing to the pathway along the landward side of the seawall.

Why are we doing this work?

Canvey Island is very low lying. Ground levels are generally below the daily high water level in the Thames estuary so the tidal defences play a critical role to manage tidal flood risk to people, property and infrastructure on the Island.

Sections of the current revetment over the project area date back to the 1930s and need replacing. We regularly inspect the condition of the tidal defences and carry out ongoing maintenance activities, however damage to the revetment can be unpredictable and sudden as pictured below following a single winter storm in January 2014.

Chapman Sands storm damage  Chapman Sands repairs

Images: Chapman Sands. Left: Storm damage to 18m of revetment. Right: Completed repairs

The works proposed by the Canvey Island southern shoreline project seek to provide a cost effective revetment solution both now and into the future, as well as improving public access along the frontage, and local biodiversity.

When is the work happening?

We are currently developing the detailed design and these activities will progress through 2021/22. The outline design work was completed in consultation with Castle Point Borough Council, Canvey Island Town Council, as well as members of the Castle Point Regeneration Partnership and local councillors. We are keen to ensure the proposed works align with Castle Point Borough Council’s master planning work along the Canvey seafront.

We are currently working with the relevant external partners, including the councils, to understand and secure the necessary permissions, permits and licenses required before starting work on site. 

Construction is planned to start in 2022/23 and we anticipate that it will take 2 years to deliver the project over its 3km extent.

The duration of the works reflects the challenges and complexity of delivering such a vital flood risk management project over a very long distance during low-tide periods. The extent also covers environmentally sensitive areas at the eastern end of the project, and a very popular amenity frontage at the western extent of the project. 

We’re developing an approach whereby we will move along the frontage in sections over the period of the works. This means we’ll be working in any given location for a much shorter period of time. 

We’re talking to other organisations, such as Essex County Council and Anglian Water to understand overlaps with other works that may be planned on the Island. We’re also talking to business owners and residents who may be directly affected by the works.

What have we been doing on-site recently?

In December 2020 we drilled boreholes at specific locations along the 3km revetment as well as ground penetrating radar surveys of specific areas of revetment. These investigative works will provide more detailed understanding of local ground conditions to inform the project’s detailed design. 

How will the new revetment be constructed?

The current design for a new revetment material is open-stone asphalt (as shown in the concept sketch below) and it will be laid at a shallower angle than the current revetment. This means that the new revetment will extend further towards the sea than it does now. However the existing sand and shingle will be retained so there will be no significant detriment to the amenity benefits that the existing beach material currently provides along the frontage.

A concept sketch of the proposed works once complete

Image: A concept sketch of the proposed works once complete

We will be replacing all of the steps to the beach, improving access ramps at Fisherman’s Corner and Chapmans Sands, and widening the walkway around the existing steps and ramps at each floodgate. We’ll also improve the footpath on the rear of the defence with better surfacing to help people enjoy Canvey Island all year round.

How will we minimise the impact on residents and visitors?

Access for plant, materials and the workforce is planned to be via road. Given the overall project extent covers over 3km, we are currently planning for a single main compound to store materials and plant as well as site offices for the entire duration of the works. We’ll also have smaller 'satellite' compounds which would be set up and dismantled as needed. The final locations of the main and 'satellite' compounds are yet to be finalised and agreed, but we hope that this approach will reduce the length of time any particular section will be affected.

How can I find out more and get involved?

We are now planning the best way for us to share more details with you to give you as much information as possible around how the proposed revetment will look, how it will be constructed and where compounds are proposed. We’re keen to seek your feedback on how the project will be delivered and to hear from you about any local constraints we are not currently aware of.

We hope to hold face to face ‘drop-in’ sessions in the future when feasible, in line with the government guidelines. In the coming weeks we’ll add ‘information boards’ to this web page, and we’ll make paper copies available in some public places on the Island. We’ll also add a feedback section to this web page, and provide offline options for you to share your views.

We’ll keep you updated on the project via Twitter (@TE2100Plan and @EnvAgencyAnglia) and written means.

How can I find out more and get involved?

Please check this web page regularly to check for updates, as well as our Twitter accounts for further information on the project and planned engagement events. In the meantime you can contact us at: Team2100@jacobs.com

Audiences

  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Academics

Interests

  • Business and industry
  • Flood management
  • Coastal management