Dutch firm appointed to design major North Norfolk sea defence scheme

Aerial view of Bacton, Date: Oct 2015. Picture: Mike Page

Aerial view of Bacton, Date: Oct 2015. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

A multi-million pound scheme to protect the North Norfolk coastline is pressing forward, with the district council agreeing which designers to appoint to the scheme.

The sandscaping of Bacton and Walcott beaches has been in discussion for almost two years, a scheme which could cost up to £22m. It will see more than 1.5m cubic metres of sand and sediment deposited onto Bacton and Walcott beaches to galvanise sea defences in these areas.

Now, with North Norfolk District Council working towards a target delivery date of spring 2019, its cabinet has agreed to appoint Dutch firm Royal Haskoning DHV (RHDHV) as the scheme's designers, at a cost of no more than £125,000.

The project will see the council working alongside the Bacton Gas Terminal to deliver the scheme, which will be the first of its kind in England.

Hilary Cox, cabinet member responsible for the coast, said: 'We all know how important the Bacton Gas Terminal is and how key it is to protect that area. We are also aware of how delicate our coastline is, so we need somebody who specialises in this role.

'The need for this to move forward is big and there are very few firms that could do this work.'

Fellow cabinet member Richard Price added: 'This is and innovative and much needed project which will have the world of importance to the area.

Most Read

'It is vitally important we have the right firm working on it and this is a relatively small increase in cost to have the right people to help us deliver the project and protect our coastline for years to come.'

Mr Price also said the scheme would also provide much-needed protection for villages further afield, including Eccles and Sea Palling.

Liberal Democrat councillor Nigel Lloyd (pictured) said: 'I fully support the scheme, though I feel it is important people are made aware the Bacton coastline will look very different on completion.'

With cabinet members unanimously voting to appoint the firm, RHDHV will now provide the council with detailed designs for the project.