Whitstable coastal defence scheme (2006)

Whitstable is a low lying area on the North Kent coast in the South East of England. Coastal defence is fundamental to protecting the highly populated town from flooding, as a predicted rise in sea level in this area is 1.05m over the next 100 years. Historically the beach frontage is of an erosive nature; hence the two large replenishment schemes carried out in the late 1980s and 2006 to increase the protection to the town.

The primary defence at Whitstable is a large shingle beach maintained by timber groynes; this acts to dissipate wave energy, reducing overtopping and preventing damage to the seawall, which protects the town from flooding. Whitstable beach is monitored by the local authority, Canterbury City Council (CCC) who is solely responsible for maintenance of the coastal defences.

In 2006 the beach underwent a transformation of the coastline by replacing several sections of the hardwood timber groynes and introducing 70,000m^3 shingle.  The berm was designed to 6m and the slope to a 1 in 7 slope to the foreshore.  Since the scheme was completed the beach has been very successful as little beach material moves out of Whitstable through longshore drift; the beach is monitored three times per year through the Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme.