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SWH Civils Repair Coastal Zone in South Hams

The A379 coast road between Torcross and Strete offers an important transport link between local communities, as well as providing a secondary emergency route to Dartmouth. The road sits atop a shingle barrier between the sea and Slapton Ley.

In last year’s storms, significant damage was caused to the single ridge and bastions. A substantial amount of shingle was washed away from the beach, including up to nearly half from individual bastions which provide protection for the road. 

Although seasonal weather usually ensures that the shingle returns during the summer, this hasn’t happened this year and large deposits have built up at the northern end of the Slapton Line at Pilchards Cove.

SWH Civils began carrying out work to move approximately 27,000 tons of shingle from Pilchards Cove/Strete Gate to Torcross on 12 January and the project is due to complete in eight weeks.

The shingle will be transported in large lorries along the A379 with traffic lights, also being provided by SWH, facilitating the deposition of the shingle, and turning of the lorries in the Slapton and Torcross areas.

The Strete Gate car park will be closed entirely to the public during weekdays throughout the works period to allow safe lorry loading from the beach. 

The Environment Agency, with a contribution from Devon County Council, has provided South Hams District Council with one-off funding in order to ensure this project can go ahead and to protect the Torcross sea defences.

The works are part of the continued commitment by the Slapton Line Partnership to maintain the road for as long as possible.

The Slapton Line Partnership was formed to co-ordinate the activities around achieving this and it has meant close co-operation between its members South Hams District Council, Devon County Council, Natural England, the Environment Agency and local land owners including the Whitley Wildlife Trust. 

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