Seawick Sea Defences Project - information page

Closed 31 Aug 2021

Opened 28 Sep 2020

Overview

The Seawick Sea Defences project will reduce flood risk to approximately 1800 static caravans, 343 chalets and 27 other residential properties and 103 non-residential properties within the flood plain. To do this we will place rock armour at the toe of the existing defence.

May 2021

The project is now complete. We would like to thank local people for their patience whilst the construction work was ongoing. Please read on for details of what we have been doing.


Background

We have improved and extended the rock armour around the seawall at Seawick in two areas: ‘Hutley’s Gap’ and a secondary area to the west (in front of Bel Air Estate). This will better protect against erosion and extend the useful life of the seawall.

When did the work take place?

The work started in October 2020 and was completed in spring 2021.

We employed the services of contractors Van Oord to carry out construction of this project.

Project timeline:

  • October: Rock deliveries start. Work starts at Hutley’s Gap
  • November: Hutley’s Gap complete. Work starts at secondary area 
  • December: Rock deliveries complete (as of 7 December). Rock placement in the secondary area is now complete
  • Early 2021: Because of additional work, the project end date moved early 2021 (rather than the end of 2020). Specifically we repaired part of the concrete ramp at Hutley's Gap (beach-side) and adding extra rock in front of it to resist erosion. The rock armour at Hutley’s Gap was completed once work to the ramp was finished    

Why we did this work

The beach material at Hutley’s Gap and the secondary area is being eroded by the sea and if this work was not carried out, the seawall’s condition would continue to deteriorate and larger more expensive works would be required in the near future.

The area behind the seawall is largely below sea level, and includes several caravan parks and the Bel Air Chalet Estate. If the seawall failed, a tidal surge could inundate that area, significantly impacting local residents and economy.

By undertaking the work now we have extended the useful life of the existing seawall in the most cost effective way.

What did the work involve and how was the scheme constructed?

Rock was brought by road to a temporary holding area or 'rock storage area'. Construction of the rock armour was focussed around low-tide. Tendring District Council agreed the working hours of 5am to 9pm Monday to Saturday to enable us to work during at least one low tide per day.

Dump trucks took the rock from the rock storage area to where it was needed. Excavators then placed the rock to form the rock armour.

Rock armour being built

Image above: Rock armour being built

How will this work benefit you?

This work will ensure the existing seawall continues to provide the current level of tidal flood protection.


Images of the completed scheme

Hutley's Gap facing north

Image above: Hutley's Gap, facing north

Hutley's Gap facing west

Image above: Hutley's Gap, facing west

Hutley’s Gap in the foreground and the secondary area beyond

Image above: Hutley’s Gap in the foreground and the secondary area beyond

New beach access

Image above: New beach access

Audiences

  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Environment Agency customers
  • RFCCs

Interests

  • Flood management
  • Coastal management