December 2, 2013 Leave a comment
I have had quite a bit of correspondence about the proposed Shoebury flood defences. Whilst not supporting the Friends of Shoebury Common’s plans on the grounds of expense, I do think the debate would be enhanced by giving their views a wider hearing. What follows is an edited selection from what has been sent to me.
SHOEBURY COMMON FLOOD DEFENCE
Southend Councils preferred scheme involves a 1km (0.65 miles) long secondary flood defence wall at 1.98 metres high, plus 1.4 metre high railings, starting from the MOD wall down to St Augustine Avenue and includes several floodgates from 2.5 to 8.0 metres wide. Although the wall is only 400mm wide, it will have an additional 4 metre wide (13 feet) crest of soil with steep ramps & stairs for public access.
Access for disabled & infirm will be restricted
Emergency vehicle access also restricted
Security risk / vandalism increased once enclosed
Serious risk crossing road, flood gate & cycle path
Sea views destroyed & resident’s privacy lost
Reduced car parking and loss of Leisure space
OUR SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE INVOLVES:
* Raising boat ramp by 900mm to match MOD wall
* Raising existing promenade / walkway by 550mm
* Soil used will strengthen existing sea wall
* Provide new 400mm high wall for added protection
* Raise promenade beach huts by 550mm to match
* Provide new secure beach huts on raised level
* Use existing huts if owners prefer this option
* Use free soil for promenade & low-level banks
* Surplus soil to be used on other high risk areas
* All other areas to remain including flood plain
* Beach re-charge / maintenance in separate budget
* This option would be considerably cheaper
We would ask you to look at the two options given below, so you can make your own judgement. We have obviously only shown the items needed in the basic design, as other items would affect both options
Option “D” FoSC raised promenade:
Raise the existing concrete boat ramp by 700mm to the top of the existing MOD wall (5.80 AOD)
Provide a new sea wall say 1250mm (50″) high in front of the existing wall and extend approx. 950 metres
(This method is identical to the Councils west end section of wall between Maplin Way & Marcus Avenue)
Raise the existing promenade by 550mm (22″) along the same length
Raise 133 beach huts & 3 shelters by 550mm (22″) and their foundations.
Provide ramps between each hut to slope back to the common (say 1 in 8 incline for disabled access as well)
Provide one small floodgate at the Yacht Club. With expert advise this could possible be omitted?
Sell 55,000 tons of soil to the Developer which will finance raising the beach huts etc.
Minor ground level alterations to existing car park & other asphalted areas on Promenade / Common
Option “A” Councils preferred option:
Provide 2 metre (78″) high wall as Council Drawings approx. 1,000 metres long
provide at least 10 massive floodgates, some 8 metres wide
Provide several steps & disabled ramps over this wall to gain access from car park
provide 4 metre wide Clay soil embankment around 500 metres long
Provide stainless steel railings and safety barriers around 550 metres long
Transport 55,000 tons of soil to site to build 4 metre (13 foot) wide embankment
Lay & seed the remaining soil on the grassed Common. (Reason unknown)
Provide New lighting along promenade, including infrastructure
Provide new CCTV cameras to protect the fully enclosed section on the Common Promenade
Minor alterations to the car park etc., to pick up changes in levels
Even a layman could work out that showing costs of £10,360,313 for Option “D”, against only £5,182,330 for Option “A”, brings the authenticity of these figures into question, when you consider the construction period, size and volume of material required for each scheme?
Also consider the maintenance / replacement costs for both options. Perhaps consider the “risk” factors of closing ALL floodgates in the event of a major storm against option “D”. What happens if this is in the middle of the night, as 1953? What about vandalism or graffiti. What about security risk with enclosed area, hidden from general view. Female beach hut owners with children have already expressed concerns about being vulnerable, even during the day.