Price hike of £5m for Sidmouth coastal defence scheme

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Coast at SidmouthImage source, Miles Davis/BBC
Image caption,
There have been repeated rockfalls at the coast in Sidmouth

A new flood defence scheme in Devon is expected to cost £5m more than previously estimated.

The anticipated cost of the coastal defence project in Sidmouth has risen from £14m to £19m.

East Devon District Council hopes to be able to cover the extra costs until funding from other sources is found.

The scheme will include a rock island and a 120m (394ft) groyne made of rocks, to try and tackle the rate of erosion.

Geoff Jung, the council's portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said the work was "urgently" needed "to protect Sidmouth from the increasing risk from predicted storm events due to climate change".

The council said the increased budget was down to higher costs of materials, energy and staff.

A report is being prepared for councillors, which will try to get approval for the additional funds from the capital budget "as a temporary loan" until further money can be secured from elsewhere.

East Devon District Council and the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan group will then submit a bid for funding to the Environment Agency in "late summer".

A public consultation could take place in 2023 or 2024 with work on the scheme expected to begin in 2025.

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