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Minehead Defence Case Study

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									COASTAL DEFENCES CASE STUDY……‘MINEHEAD - Taming the tides’
The West Somerset town of Minehead is situated on the
Bristol Channel – an area of water that is subject to one of
the largest tidal ranges in the world as well as very fast
currents.
Background
 Minehead has used its position to become a prosperous
  port and more recently, a thriving holiday resort.
 Its location has also meant that its future has been constantly threatened by the
  prospect of flooding from the sea.
 Major floods have been recorded in 1910, 1936 and1981. More recently,
  devastating flood damage every winter from 1989, 1990 and 1992 caused the
   Authorities to consider prevention.
 Over the years, various attempts were made to build a sea wall only
  for Mother Nature to gain the upper hand again.


Sea Defences
 Sea defences have existed in the town for several hundred years.
 The old sea wall suffered frequent damage and despite repairs flooding continued.
 Over the last 50 years estimated cost of flooding reached £21 million, something had
  to be done.


The Scheme
 In November 1996 planning permission was approved
   for a multi million pound sea defence system.
 The project was a partnership between the Environment
   Agency, West Somerset District Council, Butlins Holiday
   Camp and Somerset County Council.
 When considering the type of scheme, a great deal of
   attention was paid to safeguarding the sea views, the
   promenade and the use of the seafront beach area.
   Existing access to the beach was poor and the scheme proposed to improve this,
    together with disabled access, improved seating areas and viewing platforms.


The System
                      A sea wall was built with a reflective wave profile, which would
                       turn the power of the wave back upon itself.
                      The beach level was increased by 2 metres to offer a greater
                       surface area to absorb wave power.
                      This also increased the angle of the beach causing waves to
                       break further off shore.
                      A series of four new groynes were created from 100,000 tonnes
                       rock armour, placed evenly along the beach minimised the loss
                       of beach through long shore drift.
                      After severe storms the beach will be replenished with new
                       shingle and sand.
                      The final cost of the whole project was £12.3 million pounds.

                                                                                 AD 06’

								
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