March 27, 2023 10.53 am This story is over 15 months old

Huge Environment Agency 4.5km sea defences project gets planning approval

Work will begin straight away

Planning approval has been given for a significant sea defences project spanning 4.5km of the North East Lincolnshire coastline.

North East Lincolnshire Council approved on Wednesday, March 22, phase three of the Environment Agency’s sea defence improvement scheme at Stallingborough. The repairs and improvements are intended to protect the coastline until 2046 and will require 100,000 tonnes of rock.

Upgrades and repairs to four outfalls – Middle, Oldfleet, Mawmbridge and New Cut Drains – are also included. The project will be split into two phases, with work on New Cut Drain and associated landscape improvements coming after all other elements and requiring a separate planning application.

Rock revetments will be repaired and reinforced along a 4.5km section of sea wall. This includes new rock armour along three kilometres.

The stone used will be quarried and free from soil clay, dirt and other organic matter. Because of the size of the rocks, the stone will usually be a waste product from the quarrying process and consquently a sustainable material with a more than 25-year life span.

Five construction compounds will be set up for the works, the main one being positioned by Humber Energy Limited. The main compound will include a kitchen, canteen, toilet block, offices and meeting rooms.

This spring, 22,000 tonnes of 60-300kg crushed rock will transported by road from Coalville, Leicestershire, to the site at an average of 700 tonnes per shift. But this pales in comparison to the 78,000 tonnes of between 0.3 and 1,000kg rock armour transferred from nearby Immingham port.

The rock armour will come from Oban, Scotland. Construction of the sea defences is expected to start imminently. It is due to last 21 months, with most work done in the likely better weather periods between March and September in 2023 and 2024.

“Careful consideration of the potential impact on the local wildlife and in particular protected species has been at the forefront of the design process,” state the Environment Agency in an application document.

A number of wildlife surveys were undertaken for the application, including not only of wading birds, but also water voles and the Sea Aster Mining Bee.

There has also been considerable consultation, including a public drop-in session at Healing Manor in November.

Environment Agency plans to beef up North East Lincolnshire’s coastline defences first emerged last summer.