Glass act! Transparent trial pane on Sidmouth seafront survives Storm Ciara – as date with Dennis looms this weekend

A pioneering pane of glass being trialled as part of plans to raise the sea wall in Sidmouth survived Storm Ciara ‘unscathed’.

The transparent splash barrier withstood a battering from the elements – but faces a further test this weekend.

Storm Dennis is expected to wreak more wild weather on the coastline this weekend.


Sidmouth seafront was closed to pedestrians and traffic at high tide as Storm Ciara battered East Devon’s coast.
Photo: NIcola Rider.

Sidmouth is the first place in the UK to trial a glass flood shield next to a shingle beach.

District council bosses are testing whether sections of a raised seafront wall can be made of glass.

The one-metre-high structure that would span The Esplanade could also feature gates, drop-down doors, seating and planting.

Councillor Geoff Jung, chairman of the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan Steering Group, told “The Storm Ciara event over the weekend and recent high tides has been a significant trial for our glass panel on Sidmouth beach front.

“Despite this, the panel is unscathed and has survived its first test.

“However, that this is only the first storm it has had to brave, as there is another one coming this weekend.

Storm Ciara sweeps into Sidmouth. Photo by Rob Chidgey Photography.

Storm Ciara sweeps into Sidmouth. Photo by Rob Chidgey Photography.

“The location was chosen to receive the maximum impact from the sea and pebbles.

“However, the splash barrier, if the trial proves it to be effective, is intended to be located between the highway and promenade, to a maximum of one-metre-high from the promenade floor level.

“We understand the local concerns regarding a raised splash barrier, but recent government analysis for sea level rises confirm earlier studies that a raised barrier is a pre-requisite for the full Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan, and for the scheme to be effective looking to the future.

“We are required, within the plan, to provide protection to reduce the east cliff erosion, protect the seafront from storm damage and reduce the risk of flooding to properties in the town by the sea overtopping.

The 'splash barrier' on Sidmouth seafront could feature glass panels.

The ‘splash barrier’ on Sidmouth seafront could feature glass panels. Photos: EDDC.

“We are considering every possible way of reducing the visual impact, but at the same time providing the protection required to protect residents and businesses in the town of Sidmouth.

“Fitting glass sections, plus other possible initiatives will all be considered, prior to a public event (date to be confirmed) when all the options will be explained and consulted upon.

“This seafront location trial will allow us to analyse if glass sections can be used in a location such as Sidmouth.”

Trial to test whether raised splash wall on seafront could be made of GLASS

Sidmouth will be first place in the UK to trial glass flood shield near shingle beach

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