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How 1.5m cubic metres of sand could be dumped on beach to save Norfolk villages from sea

PUBLISHED: 12:27 23 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27 23 June 2017

A new sandscaping project is on the cards. Aerial view of Bacton from October 2015. Picture: Mike Page

A new sandscaping project is on the cards. Aerial view of Bacton from October 2015. Picture: Mike Page

Copypright Mike Page, All Rights Reserved Before any use is made of this picture, including dispaly, publication, broadcast, syn

A once in a lifetime proposal to bolster sea defences at Bacton Gas Terminal and nearby villages, Bacton and Walcott, is set to be discussed at North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) next cabinet meeting.

A view from Walcott beach down the the coast to Bacton, an area which could be improved by sandscaping. Photo: David Thacker A view from Walcott beach down the the coast to Bacton, an area which could be improved by sandscaping. Photo: David Thacker

The multi-million pound proposed scheme would involve sandscaping the shoreline in front of the terminal and along the coast.

If plans were put into place it would mean high volumes of sand being used to protect the coast - approximately equal to two hundred Carrow Road football pitches covered one metre deep in sand (1.5m cubic metres).

This would be the first time a project of this scale has been delivered in the UK. The total cost is estimated to be £17m to £19m pounds and includes £4.8m to fund the village element of the scheme.

John Lee, NNDC cabinet member for coastal management, said: “This is the next step in helping to make this scheme a reality. It’s a necessary proposal and a great opportunity to enhance protection for the villages.”

Bacton gas terminal from the air. Picture; MIKE PAGE Bacton gas terminal from the air. Picture; MIKE PAGE

“This is the best option on the table for Bacton and Walcott and I’m proud that North Norfolk District Council is looking to work in partnership with the Bacton Terminal Operators to potentially deliver this project.

“It’s an exciting project which shows the benefit of the public and private sectors working together.”

All three areas are at risk of coastal erosion due to falling beach levels and rising sea levels. Sandscaping - which has already been successful in The Netherlands - is believed to give the best chance of sustaining the defences for the villages while ensuring the nationally critical gas infrastructure at Bacton Gas Terminal is protected.

NNDC has invested £1.3m in the maintenance of sea wall and revetments in the area over the past decade, but continued maintenance of the groynes is limited because of the falling beach levels.

The proposed scheme will require an Environmental Impact Assessment to be completed to establish that there will be no negative impacts economically, socially or environmentally. It will also be subject to the granting of a number of consents and licenses. A series of public drop in sessions are being organised for July 12 at Walcott Village Hall and July 13 at Bacton Village Hall to explain the proposal and to get people’s views.

The drop in sessions will only go ahead if the report is agreed at cabinet at the meeting on July 3 and a development agreement is reached with the Terminal Operators.

If it does get approval it is hoped that the scheme could be carried out as early as 2018, with sand taken offshore from licensed extraction sites off Great Yarmouth or elsewhere.

The Cabinet report is asking for approval to:

· To delegate authority to the corporate director and portfolio holder to agree a development agreement with the Bacton Terminal Operators so that NNDC is the lead partner for the delivery of the scheme.

· To delegate authority to the corporate director and portfolio holder to negotiate with The Crown Estate

· To recruit resources (staff) to support the scheme

· To start the tender work for appointing a contractor to carry out the work if the development agreement is agreed.

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9 comments

  • This shows just how out of touch the tories really are, as the Dutch have learned over centuries how to protect the coastline the tories are now going to learn how to build sand castles, what a waste they are

    Report this comment

    Rob44

    Saturday, June 24, 2017

  • They do this on beaches along the Algarve in Portugal. They use a flat bottomed ship which sits just off the shore where it sucks sand up from the sea bed. The sand is filtered into the bottom of the ship and all the unwanted bits (seaweed, stones, water etc) are pumped back into the sea. When the ship is full of sand (after about an hour) they hook up to a large plastic pipeline that runs up onto the beach. The sand is then pumped through this pipeline to form a huge pile on the beach. This continues for several weeks and then the sand is moved around & levelled along the beach. In the Algarve this is done to preserve the beaches for tourists rather than to act as a sea defence barrier. This is pretty much an ongoing operation so that every beach gets done in turn over a period of 5 or 6 years. Then they start again. I think they spend something like 30m Euro a year doing this.

    Report this comment

    Mylen1um

    Saturday, June 24, 2017

  • Keeping the tide back? Where is Cnut when you need him?

    Report this comment

    weaversway

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • Obviously 1.5m cubic metres of sand is one hell of a lot of sandcastles, but in the great scheme of things surely it's not that much? As others have said one good storm surge and whoosh it would be gone.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • The big question is where are they going to get the sand from. if the intention is to recharge the beaches wit off shore sand, then as malaga flier says, a big storm and it will be all gone - I'm sure many of you have built a sandcastle with a moat around it when on the beach. Add water to the moat and sand from the centre gradually flows back into the moat filling it and the castle disappears. This is what would happen if off shore sand is used. The EA used to do this at Sea Palling but have stopped supposedly due to the costs of moving Sea Palling's sand away from Yarmouth harbour . . . but who knows, all we do know is that they continue to dredge our sand, sell it to a country called Holland (where the process is illegal) and our beach keeps vanishing. So where are they going to find 1.5million cubic metres of sea sand from? I await with interest.

    Report this comment

    manbythesea

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • Donna-Louise, how dumb do I feel? Apologies for casting aspersions on your mathematical abilities. Seems I will have to look elsewhere where for that easy way to make my fortune.

    Report this comment

    Joe_Orton

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • Hi Joe. It's 1.5m cubic metres, which is 1.5 million cubic metres (you've missed off the 'm'). Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the article though!

    Report this comment

    Reporter Donna-Lou

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • I have no idea how they would prevent the sand from being washed away. At least twice a year I have seen massive amounts of sand used to replace existing loss on beaches on the Costa del Sol, especially at the resort of Torrox, only for it all to be washed away as soon as there is a storm or tidal surge! They have spent millions of Euro on it as well!

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • 1.5 cubic metres of sand at a cost of £17million? Hmm, I would be happy to make the two trips with my wheelbarrow for £10million, cash in hand. (Either that or maybe EDP ought to employ a journalist who is capable of simple maths?)

    Report this comment

    Joe_Orton

    Friday, June 23, 2017

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