Otter Estuary timeline: hundreds of years of change
We are currently in phase two of the project. The first exploratory phase began in July 2014 and continued until late 2016. The objective of phase one was to decide whether a managed realignment project was conceptually possible and worth seriously considering for the Lower Otter Valley.
As we believe that was the case, the initiative moved to a second phase, which involves securing funding from a range of sources to allow detailed evidenced-based investigations to be undertaken. This phase is now investigating whether a socially, technically, environmentally and financially acceptable solution exists to preserve and improve the Lower Otter in the face of climate change. Designs for the managed realignment scheme are now being developed and shared with stakeholders for comment, with a view to the project proceeding to a third phase.
Investigations during the second phase will include consideration of: the liability presented by the old local tip situated within the floodplain; the vulnerability of adjacent cliffs to erosion; ground level surveys to understand and model inundation throughout the zone potentially influenced by proposals; options to maintain and improve public access, including South Farm Road; options to relocate the cricket club; potential health issues associated with the project; and additional technical work required to understand the impact and feasibility of project options.
The third phase would involve seeking planning and other necessary consents from a variety of authorities for the agreed proposals.
Should sufficient funding be available and the necessary permissions granted, the fourth phase of the project involving construction and implementation would start. This phase may itself be split into several phases and would go on for around a year.