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Work to start on Herne Bay sea defences

Canterbury City Council has received approval and funding from the Environment Agency to start improvements to the sea defences at the central part of Herne Bay.

The £900,000 project includes a £80,000 council contribution, and work is due to start on site at the end of January. Breheny Civil Engineering has been awarded the contract, and all improvements should be completed by the end of June this year.

Work on the sea defences will involve raising the rear wall by 300mm and renewal of all the coping stones. All gaps will be closed by the use of floodgates, and a new rear wall will be built across the back of Neptune car park. The car park will also benefit from a barrier which will be installed at its entrance and can be closed at night, making the area secure.

Three new groynes will be constructed at the western end of central Herne Bay, where beach erosion has become a regular problem. The project will upgrade the standard of the sea defences to meet a one in 200-year storm event, such as the storm surge that occurred in the winter of 1953.

Originally scheduled for 2015, the council was able to bring the sea defence work forward due to a swift design and tender process that made the funding available. The project was designed and will be managed on site by the East Kent Engineering Partnership (EKEP). This is a partnership of Canterbury, Dover, Thanet, Shepway and Swale councils’ engineering teams.

The council’s Executive member for engineering, Cllr Peter Vickery-Jones, said:

“The council is absolutely committed to investing in the future of Herne Bay, and to have secured this funding for a significant project is wonderful news. The country has seen recent unprecedented inland flooding and this has led to extra demand to combat the problem. Therefore we’re pleased to have been able to convince the Environment Agency of the importance of the need for our scheme. Thanks to our involvement with EKEP, the Canterbury engineering team has worked on an array on different projects, including work for other local authorities. This expertise ensures we can turn projects round quickly, efficiently and to exceptionally high standards.”

Breheny Civil Engineering is currently working on the Margate sea defence scheme near the town’s Turner Contemporary. This is another EKEP project involving engineers from the city council.

CCC 8 January 2013

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