The Herne Bay Action Plan, which came out of the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for the north Kent (2010), stated that a coastal defence study should proceed as quickly as possible to determine the best way to manage the coast over the next 100 years.
The council’s Engineering Team designed a coastal defence improvement scheme for Herne Bay in 2012. An application for funding was sent to the Environment Agency and was accepted in autumn 2012. The scheme included the installation of three timber groynes, the raising of the existing sea wall between the Pier and Neptune car park, an extension of the current sea wall, 16 floodgates and the upgrade of amenities, including Trim Trail and the children play park and was completed in July 2013.
For central Herne Bay, mathematical modelling showed that there were potentially gaps in the defences that could lead to flooding of parts of the town as a result of a storm of one in 50 year return period, or more. Extending the old sea wall removed the gaps and the installation of flood gates will shut in the event of a storm to close the remaining gaps across pathways. In addition, an eight metre wide flood gate closes off the Neptune car park entrance when water levels are considered dangerous.
Due to the persistently eroding beach next to the Pier, 3 new timber groynes were constructed to hold the material. This should reduce the need for annual beach recycling which had taken place since 1993. The timber groynes will be spaced at 20 metre intervals and start approximately 5 metre off the sea wall.