The third and final stage of the coastal protection project for Tankerton was completed in 2004. The work comprised of 15 new timber groynes and the importation of 50,000m3 of beach material. The contract commenced in September 2003 with piling and partial erection of the timber groynes. This was possible after the council received £2.2million of government funding.
The work was split into two parts with the first stage comprising the length from the Tankerton Yacht club to the eastern access road at the end of Marine Crescent. The second stage comprised the length from the eastern access road to Long Rock. The promenade was closed at each stage of the works and pedestrian diversions were in force.
Importation of beach material began in spring 2004 to avoid the rough weather associated with the winter period. The material was brought to shore by a specially designed barge during high water which was allowed to settle on the foreshore as the tide retreated. The beach material was then unloaded using a combination of bulldozers and excavators. The barge moved along the toe of each new beach as the works progressed to reduce haulage of beach material.
The hardwood timber for the groynes was purchased in advance to meet the council’s strict environmental standards. The £180,000 contract was awarded to Aitken and Howard, a Scottish company with more than 150 years’ experience in the importation of hardwood timber. The timber used was Greenheart from Guyana, on the northern coast of South America. The council recycled as much timber as possible from the existing groynes. The beach material started to arrive by barge in May 2004 and deliveries lasted for approximately 6 weeks. Each barge load contained 2,500m3 of material dredged mainly from the shingle banks at Hastings. The barge arrived at high water and was manoeuvred into the groyne bay requiring recharge. Once positioned it was allowed to settle on the foreshore from where the beach material was unloaded at low water.