£3.3 million has been secured by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership (ESCP) to continue beach management along South Hayling Island. The beach management will reduce flood and coastal erosion risk to 1555 homes, 170 commercial properties and important infrastructure at Eastoke.
The funding has been allocated over a 5 year period from April 2017 to March 2022. Beach management campaigns will typically be in March and/or September and will last between two and four weeks, with the first campaign due to begin this autumn.
The Beach Management Plan includes the entire South Hayling Island frontage from the Ferry Boat Inn in the west to Black Point Spit in the east. Annual beach recycling activities and import of offshore sediment via road and ship will continue to maintain the design profile of the beach at Eastoke.
When material from offshore sources is used, a ship will dredge the material and place it ashore via a process called ‘rainbowing’. Before each campaign, local residents directly affected by the works will be informed and local information boards will provide further details.
All work is undertaken in an environmentally sensitive manner to ensure no adverse impact to the overwintering and nesting birds or the supporting vegetated shingle. A unique approach to safeguarding the environment is being implemented with an extensive management and monitoring regime to ensure that the diverse habitats are protected into the future.
A portion of the allocated funds will cover the cost of carrying out studies to better inform beach management activities and assess the efficiency of these activities along the Eastoke frontage to ensure sustainable flood protection in the future. Tagged tracer pebbles to track the movement of sediment along the beach will be employed to better understand the coastal processes (see http://www.escp.org.uk/beach-sediment-tracer-study).
Through collaborative working with our neighbours, the Beach Management Plan provides a holistic approach to coastal flood risk management across the wider frontage and will unlock a new source of local material at Gunner Point. This follows positive negotiations with Hayling Golf Club who are the landowners of the site.
Beach material travels in a westerly direction through the process of longshore drift towards Gunner Point. It can be recycled back to maintain the beach at Eastoke. Planning permission was granted by Havant Borough Council for the Beach Management Plan in July 2017 and the 10 year Marine Licence was received during August 2017, permitting works to proceed.
Councillor Michael Wilson, Local Ward Councillor, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Lead for Environment and Neighbourhood Services, said: “We are delighted that the ESCP has been granted this permission and will be able to continue its great work.
"This funding is extremely important to continue reducing flood and coastal erosion risk, but also to further research into the effectiveness of the work completed.”
The first phase of the Beach Management campaign will start during the first week of October, for a period of four weeks. The works will involve moving material by truck along the beach from Gunner Point to Eastoke, to replenish this vital defence.