The residents are having a problem at Birling gap. The cliff has retreated a lot since 1926 and the cliffs are slowly retreating back and the cliff is moving closer and closer to the houses. The residents are demanding sea defences because if they don’t they will eventually lose their houses. The cliffs as they’re eroding away due to the waves. There is nothing reducing the impact of the waves and it is hitting against the cliffs.Why was the boulder barrier proposal unsuccessful?The boulder revetment proposal was unsuccessful because sea defences cost a lot of money and there is not that many residents living there.
The council does not want to spend money on sea defences because it would not be worth it. There are ten properties are being risked of erosion. This includes a hotel, a bed and breakfast, seven residential houses and a boathouse.
Overall, combining the prices of these buildings the value is round about 380,000. The properties range from 4 to 30 metres from the cliff edge. The rate of the erosion is approximately 0.
7m/year. Another reason why the proposal is unsuccessful is that it would effect the environment. This is mentioned by the English Nature and the Sussex downs conservation board. They believe that a coastal protection scheme may have an impact on the environment. They do not want the coastal protection scheme to wreck the visual landscape, geological features, and natural processes. It would also cover the lower part of the geological exposure and reduce the natural supply of flint to the beach.
It would affect the use of the beach and safe access along it.Why boulder revetment?They want a boulder revetment as their coastal defence because:1 It’s cheaper than most sea defences such as sea wall.2 It’s a narrow beach and a boulder revetment would be suitable.
3 It will protect the base of the cliff and stop the cliff retreatingHere is the exact price of the properties:Managed RetreatLoss of properties – 358,507Loss of car park – 3,145Relocation of steps – 15,109Relocation of safety boathouse – 2,453Total – 379,214Cliff StabilisationConstruction of coastProtection works – 340,000Loss of property(1 Crangon Cottages) – 43,937- 383 ,937These figures show that protecting Birlin Gap from erosion will not be worth it for the council. If the council were going to protect Birlin Gap from erosion the council would have no benefits. It would cost more money and they would get none in return because the properties will still be owned by the residents.Site descriptionBirling gap is situated on grid reference 554 951. On the site we visited there is a shop/cafe, this is probably due to it being a tourist site. The surface was pretty much flat and the material on the beach was flint and mud. Their are a small amount of residential houses.
Some of these homes were close to fall off the cliff due to the cliff retreating because of erosion. There was no sea defences situated at Birling Gap and not much evidence of human activity except from a farm and a cafe. The cliff was made up of chalk and coombe deposit.Why we went to Birling GapWe went to Birling Gap in order to complete part 2 of our investigation. Part 2 of our investigation was looking at coastal erosion. We went to Birling Gap because there is evidence of coastal erosion happening there.
We needed to look at the wave cut platform, wave cut notch and retreat. All these processes happen at Birling Gap therefore was suitable place to go and do our case study there. Birling gap is known for its headlands and bays called the seven sisters. The seven sisters were formed by erosion from the waves.