A major £36 million coastal defence scheme from Clacton Pier to Holland Haven is to get underway this week. The first phase of works will begin with demolishing the existing concrete and timber groynes from the radar mast to Brighton Road at Holland-on-Sea and removing them in preparation for the construction works.
Once the structures have been taken away beach material will be brought in from a Crown Estate licenced off-shore dredge site. The material will then be rainbowed onto the shore from a special shallow draft dredging vessel to create platforms from which the construction program will be carried out.
Rock will be shipped in by sea from a quarry in Norway to create 23 new fishtail groynes and the beach recharge will involve about 950,000 cubic metres of sand and shingle. Work will begin today at Holland Haven – between the mast and Brighton Road – and the beach will need to be closed off for safety reasons.
It is expected to take until early August, depending on the weather, for the first kilometre of existing breakwaters at Holland Haven to be removed and the initial beach recharge is due to start on July 29.
Nick Turner, Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Cabinet Member for Environment and Coast Protection, said it is a day he has been waiting for. “The contractors have been busy preparing on site but from Monday there will be activity taking place and people will be able to see it’s now full steam ahead.”
“Excavators and dump trucks will be going along the beach and getting rid of the broken and dilapidated structures which are no longer fulfilling any worthwhile purpose,” he said. “What we will finish up with in about 18 months’ time are coastal defences which will protect more than 3,000 residential and commercial properties for the next 100 years.”
“Much more than that it will signal a catalyst for the renaissance of our seafront and open up a whole range of investment and regeneration opportunities. It is definitely more than just a coast defence scheme,” added Turner.
VBA Joint Venture Ltd has won the contract for the scheme which will be project managed by Mott MacDonald for TDC.
Essex County Councillor John Jowers, Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning, said, “It is excellent to see this critical coastal defence scheme get underway. ECC was pleased to contribute funding as it will help make a real difference to the lives of residents and businesses in the Clacton to Holland-on-Sea area.”
Jaap Dekker from VBA said that VBA look forward to delivering the project and the benefits it will provide to the community.
The project will be completed in two phases. The first is from Holland Haven to Brighton Road and then from Brighton Road to Clacton Pier. The phases are subject to tidal and weather conditions and may change as the project goes forward.