1. ITV Report

Dawlish sea wall approved despite objections

Plans for a new sea wall in Dawlish have been approved. Credit: ITV News West Country

Major plans for a new sea wall at Dawlish have been approved - despite local objections.

Network Rail’s long-awaited plans to improve the sea wall, which will improve the long-term resilience of the railway linking Devon and Cornwall with the rest of the UK, were unanimously approved by Teignbridge District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday (April 16).

The £30million scheme will raise the wall from its current height of 5m to 7.5m, widen the walkway to from its current 3.1m width to 4m and include a barrier between the pedestrians and the edge of the to stop people falling off the wall.

The sea wall was destroyed by storms in 2014. Credit: PA

The improved design is also set to prevent stormy conditions from damaging the railway at Dawlish, which happened in 2014.

There had been concerns that the height of the new sea wall will “destroy Dawlish’s charm and stop people visiting the town” - but the committee agreed that the future of the railway line was paramount.

We know the local community in Dawlish feel strongly about the future of the sea wall and the resilience of the railway in their town.

We’d like to thank them for their input and engagement with us so far.

Whilst developing our plans we have listened to the views put forward by the community.

Our plan for the new sea wall will minimise its impact on Dawlish sea front whilst providing the appropriate level of protection from extreme weather for the railway and the town.

We are pleased that Teignbridge District Council have approved the new sea wall and thank them for their thorough reviews of our plans throughout the process to date.

The new sea wall will protect this vital rail artery to the south west for the next 100 years. World leading engineers have designed these plans, having considered hundreds of other options, and it will ensure the railway line is more resilient to extreme weather and rising sea levels for generations to come.

We now looking forward to commencing work on site at the end of May. However, work will stop during the peak summer season so it does not affect the main tourism season.

We will also continue to update and engage with the local community as we continue with this vital work.

– Network Rail