Coastal Engineer Answers Hayling Questions

March 25, 2019

Adam Sennitt of Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership answered an Islander's questions regarding Hayling's coastline management.  Adam presented at our February 27th Public Meeting on Flood Risk and Coastline Erosion on Hayling.  ESCP have an online questionnaire for residents, either contact HIRA or follow the link on this website's next Latest News: deadline for completion Monday April 15th.

 

1.What type of organisation are you? Not for profit? Charitable? Profit making? Council?  How are you funded?   By council tax?

 

The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership formed in 2012 and consists of an alliance between Fareham Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council, Portsmouth City Council and Havant Borough Council. A shared Service Agreement has allowed the partnership to combine its expertise and management to develop a service which recognises that coastal management issues are not exclusive to Local Authority boundaries.

We deliver our services through a combination of funding from each Local Authority, and successful bids to Central Government for Flood and Coastal Risk Management Grant in Aid.   You can find out more about who we are on our website:https://www.escp.org.uk/who-are-escp

 

2. If you are council tax funded – how is this shared between the local councils?

 

By working under a Shared Service Agreement, the costs of running the Partnership and its services are distributed and funded proportionally across each local authority.

More information can be found on the current distribution in the partnership report  page 34 [e-version available from HIRA or ESCP] . If you would like, I would be more than happy to send you a hard copy in the post.

 

3. Why is the level of the shingle defence bank so different between Eastoke Corner and Meath Close/Creek Road – this causes the shingle to regularly be washed onto the promenade which then restricts access for both pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.  Should it be the same height? It protects the same type of properties. I have attached photos there is a significant difference, and at Meath Close as the bank is not breached as often it keeps the vegetation , wild poppies etc.

 

The beach crest is designed to be a set level of 5.6mOD along the length. In some locations the promenade is slightly lower than in others, so the beach crest appears higher. The beach at Eastoke Corner appears lower as the promenade rises slightly towards this end of Eastoke. The beach is designed as the primary flood and coastal erosion defence. Therefore it is expected that in significant storms some shingle will ‘roll back’ on to the promenade. The beach is designed to do this as it takes the energy out of the waves. Whenever this happens we aim to be on site within a couple of days to clear the promenade and allow access for pedestrians to continue. We have noted, as you describe, that in some locations the beach is less affected by storm events than others. This is something we are starting to look in to as a study under the ongoing Beach Management Plan for Hayling Island.

 

4. Why is no effort being made to protect the footpath alongside the carpark at Eastoke corner? It is becoming dangerous and seems so short sighted after the significant investment in this footpath.  The gaps in the wooden fence have not even been fixed! Because of the damaged bit I no longer think it is possible to use this footpath for wheelchairs – which is such a shame – it’s much nicer than the roadside footpath.

 

Havant Borough Council will be carrying out timber repairs on Hayling Island, commencing on Monday 25thMarch 2019. These sections of the timber structure will be repaired as part of these works. Maintenance of the footpath falls under the Civil Engineering team at Havant Borough Council, and therefore once the boards have been replaced we will pass on your concern regarding the footpath condition to this team.

 

5. There was some work done to repair the revetments by Bound Lane which has been successful but nothing was done to repair the section of the wooden groyne which presumably had some purpose to deflect some of the sea. I notice at sandy point large rocks are used to protect – are there any plans to use rocks at Eastoke Corner?

 

The rocks were placed at Sandy Point to reduce the risk of coastal flooding and erosion to the properties at Eastoke, as there was a significant risk that floodwater could access Southwood Road through the Sandy Point nature reserve during storm events. As part of the Beach Management Plan, we will be carrying out a study to consider options to improve the performance of the beach along sections of the Eastoke frontage. Further details will be provided on these proposals once modelling of the beach and the response to storm events has been considered in detail. The timber groyne at Bound Lane is no longer required, as the groyne directly to the east carries out the majority of the work to trap beach material. We are monitoring this structure on the beach during our regular inspections.

 

6. Who is responsible for the safety of the steps leading to the beach? When I complained about the safety of the steps in 2014 – nothing was done except to put a plastic barrier – remains of it are still there!!! People broke through it, waves damaged it and it has undoubtedly added to the plastic pollution in our sea. I have recently reported another very dangerous set – I wonder if these are going to be mended or just ‘fenced off’!

 

The steps will be repaired as part of our timber maintenance works during March and April 2019. During these works we will ensure that the timber barriers are removed from site and correctly disposed of to reduce any plastic pollution on the Island.

 

7. The wooden posts appear to have lost most of their rusty tops? Was there a decision to remove these for safety reasons? How will this affect the strength/durability of the revetments?

 

The metal rings on the top of the timber piles are in place to reduce the risk of splitting while they are placed. They are left in place following the placement, however if there is to be no impact of the timber structure from machinery following the placement they are not required. If we notice any rusty or split metal on the timber we will remove them to reduce any health and safety risk they provide.

 

8. Who is responsible for clearing the shingle off the promenade? Do you have a SLA (Service Level Agreement) for this? It is often done to a very poor standard and not quickly enough (in my opinion… although it has noticeably been a bit better lately!)

 

The clearance of the promenade is generally the responsibility of Norse SE. They have a contract to carry out a clearance twice per year – once prior to the Christmas holidays, and once before the Easter holidays. Anything other than this can be requested by other teams within the council, but will still be carried out by Norse SE. As a general rule, we will wait until any periods of stormy weather are passed prior to clearance, to reduce the disturbance to members of the public using the promenade. Should any significant, large scale clearances be required, the Coastal Team will request that our Contractor brings an excavator to site to clear the promenade. Generally this can take 2-3 days due to the size of the machinery required.

 

9. Who is responsible for the cleanliness of the beach? The bins are emptied but at Eastoke corner the rubbish blows about (as they are now not wheelie bins with lids) and it appears very little effort is made to pick up the litter left nearby. Are the people who empty the bins also expected to do an element of litter picking? ( I have seen one female norse? employee use a litter picker – but it doesn’t seem common practice)

 

Norse SE are responsible for the cleanliness of the beach, and for emptying litter bins along the seafront.

 

10. Do you partner with Southern Water at all to try and prevent sewage and plastic pollution when storm water/sewage HAS to be released? Do they let you know when a lot of rubbish is likely to be deposited on the beaches so you can do extra beach cleans?

 

We do not currently liaise with Southern Water on this matter. This question would probably be best directed to the Environmental Health team at HBC.

 

11. I am very disappointed by the standard of workmanship/thoroughness in relation to keeping the promenade clear of shingle. Do you have a process/document which shows how it should be done? Eg the full width of the promenade and any shingle moved raked over rather than just piled up as if it was in a builders yard!  When it is just piled up like this with no effort to smooth it over – what happens is people just slide through it and it ends back up on the footpath! And it is ugly!

 

As mentioned above, the promenade is cleared generally by Norse SE. The full width of the promenade should be cleared, and the shingle should be deposited on the beach crest. Where possible this should be re-profiled to provide a smooth profile, however Norse do not always have the machinery for this. Wherever possible we aim to re-profile the material during our beach management campaigns, however these do not always tie in with the promenade clearance. We will take this comment on board and discuss with Norse SE regarding the deposition of shingle on the beach.

 

12. Are there plans to put back a general rubbish bin at Meath Close?  Is it ok to put general plastic rubbish in the dog bin? If the bin is not coming back is the post going to be removed?

 

As mentioned above, Norse SE are responsible for the cleanliness of the beach and litter bins. The best approach will be to contact Norse SE directly.

 

13. If I raise an issue with the beach online through HBC ‘contact us’ is it correct to use ‘Coastal Engineering’ as the service – or should I be directing my issues to another one? Can I have a copy of the process so I understand how I should be notified that my issue has been fixed or what priority it has been given? I understand that not all issues are urgent or can even be actioned but I would like to be told this through the process.

 

It is correct to use Coastal Engineering if you are emailing through the Havant Borough Council customer services information. Generally, you should receive a response directly from the team you have contacted within 10 working days. Any other information regarding timings / priority of report should be discussed with HBC Customer Services. Alternatively, if your query relates directly to Coastal Engineering, you can contact the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership atcoastal.team@havant.gov.uk.

 

14. In July 2017 I raised a customer service issue ISS649961 regarding the destroyed/burnt bench at Meath Close – I never did hear how much it would cost to replace it (I was hoping to fundraise for it if the council could not find the money or it hadn’t been insured) – or if the council were planning to replace it – it was very well used!

 

The best approach would be to follow this up with Norse SE & HBC.

 

15. How often is the promenade, footpaths and beach inspected? By whom?

 

The beach is inspected regularly throughout the year. In general, we will visit the beach once a month over the summer period, and once every fortnight over the winter period. Should we identify any areas where significant change has occurred we will inspect the beach weekly. The promenade and footpaths are inspected annually by HBC, however if the Coastal Team note any defects during their inspections of the beach we will report this to HBC.

 

16. I was surprised to learn that a lot of our coast is owned privately.  Can you please explain how this works in relation to low and high tides?  In particular when shingle is washed along to the golf club beach  – they now own the shingle as it is on their land – rather than just asking for it back and asking for rights to cross the land/beach. 

 

In general private landowners own the beach to the position of Mean High Water. Generally, below this level, the beach and seabed is owned by Crown Estates. As you stated above, at Gunner Point the shingle belongs to the Golf Club once it has passed on to their land. We work very closely with the Golf Club, and have an agreement through which we can access the shingle free of charge during Autumn annually as required. In order to do this we need to construct a haul route along the beach in front of their driving range. This means building up the beach height and width to allow our trucks to safely pass each other along this section of beach. By leaving the haul route in place following our works, we are reducing flood risk to the driving range, while enabling further access to Gunner Point for the retrieval of shingle if required.

 

END OF QUESTIONS

 

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