Flood and erosion risk protection works to be carried out in Broadstairs

Viking Bay Photo Dan Thomsett

An £880k grant from the Environment Agency has been secured by Thanet council to carry out t improvements to flood and erosion risk protection at Broadstairs Harbour and Viking Bay.

A report to Thanet council Cabinet members says the project will reduce the risk of flooding, coastal erosion and the loss of public and residential assets in Viking Bay which are protected by the coastal defences and pier head.

The report says sea defences at Broadstairs Harbour are in poor condition with residual life estimated at 10 years. Refurbished in the 1970s the pier head is constructed of battered concrete precast facing blocks supported by a sheet steel piled foundation and laid on an in-situ mass concrete wall which is constructed over the previous Stone/timber frame pier head.

The facing blocks now need to be secured and properly pointed to prevent further deterioration and erosion of the pier structure.

Photo Dean Spinks

The report says: “In a do-nothing scenario the pier head could be eroded to the extent that it is a risk of catastrophic failure during a significant storm event within the next 10 years.”

The sea wall to the North of the pier has been maintained but is more than 50 years old, there are some damaged coping stones and some loss of pointing.

If work is not carried out the seawall condition will deteriorate leading to a loss of concrete blocks, rapid erosion of the sea wall and cliff erosion.

Properties at the bottom of Harbour Street are currently protected from the sea only by the beach and a concrete slipway which provides access to the beach from Harbour Street. The beach level is maintained through beach management activities and the slipway is in good condition.

But, the report says: “Due to sea level rise and the impacts of climate change, the risk of flooding to Harbour Street is increasing with the likelihood of property level flooding becoming far more likely in the medium term.

“The project proposes new flood walls and gates to compartmentalise the bottom of Harbour Street, protecting the road from wave overtopping from the East and inundation from the South.”

The works will include:

  • Stabilisation of the existing sea defences (the pier head) at Viking Bay
  • New flood walls and gates to reduce the property level flood risk at the bottom of Harbour Street.
  • Securing and repointing of the pier wall facing blocks
  • Works to the sea walls and the fisherman’s quay to the East of the pier

The report says: “The project will improve resilience to wave overtopping, which is predicted to increase with climate change over the next 100 years. Currently, the existing defences are showing signs of deterioration which could eventually lead to failure of the seawall and pier head in the future with the potential consequence of the loss of Viking Bay beach and subsequent flooding and cliff erosion.”

Planning permission for the scheme was granted in June 2023 and the work is programmed for Spring 2024 following competitive tendering.

Additional works

Dumpton Gap Photo Dan Thomsett

A capital maintenance project is also proposed to prolong the life of the existing sea wall between Viking Bay and Dumpton Gap.

An Environment Agency grant of £406k has been secured to undertake the works along the 1.1 km seawall which was constructed almost 60 years ago and requires major maintenance.

The works will reduce the risk of coastal erosion.

A report to Cabinet members says: “The existing defences are showing signs of damage which will eventually lead to failure of the seawall.

“As a consequence, due to the intrinsic nature of the cliff and the defences, any failure will present a significant health and safety risk and would require a permanent exclusion zone around the area.”

The works will involve the replacement of some of the existing coping blocks and the berm slabs and concrete stepped sea wall units are to be refurbished and if necessary replaced.

Cabinet members are expected to approve both schemes at a meeting on Thursday (September 21).

22 Comments

  1. Fiddling whilst Rome burns.
    According to recent reports, the Antarctic sea ice cover is the lowest ever recorded. If the ice cap melts, global sea rise will be measured in metres.

    • In the 70s scientists forecast that sea levels would increase by 30 feet within 30 years and Florida and the Maldives would disappear. Sea level at Margate is the same as it was back in 1950 and it hasn’t changed in all that time, and the total VOLUME of ice in Antarctica has actually increased according to NASA scientists. Basic physics- if all the sea ice melted it would make zero change to sea level. Ice only floats because it is less dense than water. Once it melts it more dense and takes up less space in the sea.

      • I’d be interested to read your source for the quote about scientists 30 years ago.
        True: floating ice, such as in the Artctic and the ice-shelves of the Antarctic, won’t change sea levels when they melt.
        But the huge, vast, enormous amounts of ice making up the ice-caps of Greenland and the Antarctic will.
        In addition to the melting of ice caps affecting sea level, there is a regional effect due to isostacy which means that in the SE the sea level is rising (relative to the land) at the order of magnitude of 1mm/Yr. So, the sea level at Margate is about 7cm higher now than it was in the 1950’s.

      • Correct Ducs! Put an ice cube in a glass of water and when it melts the water level will stay the same! Its water temperature that causes rising sea levels, due to CO2.

  2. How did you come about this sea ice being at its lowest? . Its actually at it most at the moment!. The highest its been since the early 1980’s . And sea levels in the last 100 years have only gone up by 10mm which is nothing. Climate change is a scam just like net zero and covid !!.:

  3. Try this ..https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-023-00961-9
    So what do you think caused sea levels to go up by “only” 10 mm? (And you’re wrong there, too. “Over the past 100 years, global temperatures have risen about 1 degree C (1.8 degrees F), with sea level response to that warming totaling about 160 to 210 mm (with about half of that amount occurring since 1993), or about 6 to 8 inches. And the current rate of sea-level rise is unprecedented over the past several millennia”)[https://sealevel.nasa.gov/faq/13/how-long-have-sea-levels-been-rising-how-does-recent-sea-level-rise-compare-to-that-over-the-previous/]
    And if you describe climate change as a scam, you’ll need to come up with a pretty good alternative to explain the extraordinary climatic events of recent years.

    • Climate change is not a scam but is not down to humans it is a natural cycle of the sun warming and cooling the climate and the volcanic activity . The Earth has heated and cooled many times in history, Life has adapted and polar bears and penguins, jungles and coral reefs along with most animals have adapted accordingly.

      • You’re only partly correct.
        The Earth has experienced cycles of warming and cooling over periods measured in millions of years.
        The Milankovich cycles (the variation of the sun’s warming effect due to the Earth’s orbit round the Sun) are well known and understood, and explain warming and cooling events over 10s or 100s of thousands of years.
        Volcanism has been largely consistent for several million years.
        There is only one thing that explains the huge rise in global temperatures over the very short time scale of 200 years – the burning of cast amounts of fossil fuel since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

        • From your link

          As a percentage of the monthly climatology, sea ice extents in January and February 2023 were the largest negative anomalies recorded in the 44-year observational period (35% and 37%, respectively Fig. 1b).

          At least have the good grace to read the links you give. Note the use of the word anomalie, which could be seen as statistically important over 44 years but not in as system that has a history in excess of 100 million years within which it is known there have been far greater variances.

    • So you are happy to rely on data that only goes back 44 years for a global climate sytem that has existed for many millions of years? How can that be statistically important ? Picking convenient pieces of data is not science its manipulation.

      • Which data only goes back 4 years?
        Lots of scientific observations use proxies. For example, no one has reeled out a tape measure to determine how far away the moon, sun, stars and galaxies are. But by using a variety of Probus, it’s possible to get a good estimate.
        In the same way, just because there was no one around 10,000 years ago with a clipboard and thermometer doesn’t mean that climatological don’t have a pretty good idea of what the situation was like.
        Anyway, as I originally said, whatever the cause of sea level rise, grouting a few concrete slabs won’t do a great deal.

        • The data used in the link you give, refers to satellite derived data aquired over the 44 years, it’s a trick used in many such reports “ ……since records began…..” or similar being the caveat in most cases. But rarely gives the period over which the data was taken in the headline.

          It would be better to say “ measurements have reached new min/maxes over the period these study methods were taken, however we have no idea of the actual measurements on a comparable measure for the rest of the billions of years of earths history, but you can trust us when we say it hasn’t happened before, not that we’ve tried to find out”

          • That’s just not the case.
            Although formal, written records of meteorological observations have only been kept for a few hundred years, it is possible, by using proxies, to have a reasonably accurate picture of the Earth’s temperature changes over millions of years. Things like tree rings, ice cores, lake and sea bed sediments.
            The picture is that the climate has fluctuated over timescales of tens of thousands of years from hot to cold, wet to dry, and back. But there is nothing, in any sort of record, remotely like the increase in CO2 and the consequent rise in global temperatures in the past 200 years.
            The science is quite clear: climate change is happening, and it’s due to human activity. No other explanation fits the bill. If there is one … tell me about it!

          • Then please cite the scientific technique that can accurately show what the climate was for the period between 1,000,000 and 999, 800 years ago to the same standard as that of the last 200 years and then show where the climate records are for the last 2,000, 000 years to the same degree of accuracy.
            That the climate changes overtime i have no argument with , that the current changes are unprecedented ,is a totally unknown theory. That the actions of man are the reason for any changes is again unproven.

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