Coastal climate change impacts communities

With the effects of climate change, harbours and coastal defences, such as sea walls and embankments, are under increased pressure from sea level rise and storms. Older structures, such as the Lyme Regis cobb featured below, will feel these pressures in abundance.

Community impacts

Coastal structures provide flood and erosion protection to the nearby coastline. Should these structures be allowed to fail then these communities will be at risk.

It’s not just domestic homeowners who will be affected either. A lot of coastal towns rely on tourism and if coastal defences break income from tourism will fall. According to the National Coastal Tourism Academy, coastal tourism is the largest domestic overnight holiday sector worth £8b for overnight and day trip spend.

Accessibility for older structures can also be problematic. For example, the cobbles are not very practical for wheelchair users. As part of the design at Lyme Regis, which you’ll find out more about below, we’ve used local Portland stone as paving to improve access for all.

Lyme Regis Cobb Harbour

The Cobb is a historic structure that needs repair to prevent failure in the near future. It is the oldest example of this type of structure in the UK with the original elements dating back to the 12th century.

Today the Cobb provides coastal erosion protection to 60 homes and businesses within Lyme Regis, as well as being the home for an active commercial fishing fleet, a leisure vessel fleet, an aquarium and an RNLI Lifeboat station.

West Dorset District Council commissioned us to develop the design for repairs to the Cobb whilst also wishing to deliver commercial and recreational amenity upgrades.

Click below to read the full Lyme Regis Cobb Harbour case study.

Want to know more?

Email Johan Skanberg-Tippen or Graham Kenn for more information on our Lyme Regis project. You can also find out more on our coastal and maritime engineering web page.

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