Sea wall at flooding hotspot to be raised, if plans are approved

AROUND 90 metres of German-built sea wall near Bel Royal could be raised by 30cm and adapted to redirect crashing waves, if a planning application is approved.

The previously installed wall at the Gunsite, which shows how waves are deflected
The previously installed wall at the Gunsite, which shows how waves are deflected

The plans, which have been submitted by the Growth, Housing and Environment Department, aim to better protect an area which is vulnerable to coastal flooding.

Similar work has already taken place from the Gunsite slipway eastwards towards Le Perquage car park.

The project began after properties and businesses in the Beaumont area were repeatedly damaged by flooding, after waves crashed over the walls and water flowed downwards towards the filter-in-turn. According to a design statement accompanying the application, the wall was built as a ‘pansermauern’, an anti-tank defence structure, during the German Occupation.

‘The wall was originally constructed for military defence, not as a flood-prevention measure, and therefore does not currently have a wave recurve,’ the statement says.

‘The wall will be raised and reshaped to deflect the waves back into the sea, thereby reducing the frequency and volume of overtopping onto the promenade.’

It added that, with current sea levels, the modifications would reduce over-topping by 70%, but it would not completely remove the risk of flooding in the area.

‘Increasing the wall height by 0.3m will provide better storm protection but will not stop the flooding from occurring at Beaumont during an extreme storm coinciding with a high tide,’ it said.

‘It will reduce the amount of overtopping that occurs during storms and so should reduce the frequency in which it occurs.

The statement adds: ‘Furthermore, there is no separate surface-water-drainage system in the area. Any sea water reaching the Beaumont area must be pumped to the treatment plant.

‘Not only is there a cost incurred in treating the sea water, the salinity damages microbiological treatment processes which affects the effluent quality entering St Aubin’s Bay.’

The wall could be raised a further 30cm in the future, if it is deemed necessary.

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