The Environment Agency, Teignbridge District Council and East Devon District Council are working on a beach management project that will look at two key locations on both sides of the estuary, Exmouth and Dawlish Warren.
These organisations are working together to stage two public drop-in exhibitions in June to provide some more information on the project and give local people an opportunity to comment on the proposals.
These are projects following on from the Exe Estuary Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy which identified how to manage the flood and coastal erosion risk in the estuary now and into the future.
The first drop-in exhibition will be held on 24 June between 2pm and 8pm at the Ocean Blue Bowling Complex, The Esplanade, Exmouth, and the second on 25 June again between 2pm and 8pm at Langstone Cliff Hotel, Mount Pleasant Road, Dawlish Warren.
Representatives from each organisation will be there to answer questions and to receive feedback on what people think about the proposed works.
A range of information will be available about the project including how the beaches at Dawlish Warren and Exmouth work and the natural processes that shape the coastline, and how the winter storms affected the beachfront defences.
The exhibitions will show the recent damage caused and the repair works undertaken. People attending the exhibition will also be able to view proposals for the new flood defence planned near the Visitor Centre at Dawlish Warren. There will also be information on how some of the groynes on the beaches at Dawlish Warren and Exmouth could be repaired or replaced and how the beaches could be recharged by adding extra sand. There will also be information explaining plans to remove a section of gabions at Dawlish Warren.
A collection of historic paintings gathered on behalf of the Living with a Changing Coast (LiCCo) project and showing the Exe Estuary of yesteryear will also be on display at both exhibitions. At Exmouth there will also be a free talk starting at 7pm by the Exmouth Historical and Archaeological Society to explain their research and the changing coastline as shown by these artworks.
Martin Davies from the Environment Agency said:
We would like to know what people think about the scheme. Also, if people have any information about the local environment or the activities that could be affected by the proposals we would like to hear from them.’
Teignbridge District Council and East Devon District Council will have some leaflets and display information at the exhibitions about other projects happening along the seafront.
Cllr Kevin Lake, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Spokesman for Environmental Services which includes coastal services, said:
With its blue flag award winning beach and world acclaimed National Nature Reserve, Dawlish Warren is important to our tourism industry, Teignbridge’s ecology, wildlife and coastal defence.
As the great storm of February showed, it’s also continuingly at risk from taking a battering from the elements. The exhibitions are a great opportunity for people to come and see the repair works so far and what is planned for the future.
The Exe Estuary Strategy and recent storms have shown that parts of Dawlish Warren in particular are at risk of being damaged or breached and this risk will increase as sea level rise and storms become more frequent. If this happened, it would increase the risk of flooding to the railway line and estuary communities such as Starcross, Lympstone and Exmouth.
The works needed at Dawlish Warren are required to allow the sand spit to continue to act as a barrier to storm waves but also to improve the amenity value of the beach and to allow the sand dunes to function naturally. Although less urgent, the works that are needed for Exmouth seafront will also be explained.
The Dawlish Warren and Exmouth Beach Management Scheme will review and deliver the works required to manage the beaches at these estuary locations