CCTV or a vandal deterrent will be needed if a raised sea wall in Sidmouth is to feature glass panels.
A transparent barrier was trialled on The Esplanade from January to May and was said to have escaped virtually unscathed from the elements.
The glazed item withstood the wrath of winter – including three major storms – but was shattered in an act of criminal damage overnight between March 10 and 11.
It is believed the panel was smashed with a hammer or heavy instrument.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) said the barrier’s landward pane had been damaged, but its middle laminate and seaward side were not broken.
The authority added that, aside from the crime, tests had demonstrated glass could be a viable option – with only minor scuffing from the impact of shingle inflicted by the elements.
But a spokesperson added that either CCTV or a deterrent from vandalism would be required.
Police say no arrests have yet been made in relation to the criminal damage. Anyone with information is asked to call 101, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting crime reference CR/021595/20.
Controversial plans to raise the sea wall are part of a long-awaited £8.7million bid to boost Sidmouth’s coastal defences and safeguard its crumbling cliffs.
Glass panels, gates and drop-down doors are among options being considered for a mooted one-metre-high structure.
The preferred option for the entire Sidmouth Beach Management Scheme would also see a new rock groyne placed on East Beach and shingle imported.
Driving forces say the proposed project has more than £137million of ‘economic benefits’, will protect 120 homes from coastal flooding, and a further five properties from cliff erosion.
More information on the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Scheme can be found here.[asp_product id=”17531″]