Cliff stabilisation works at Belton Way East

February 5, 2021

Following a recent routine survey at Belton Way, the council’s highways department have identified areas of slope instability, meaning ground investigations need to be carried out ahead of essential stabilisation works.

The surveys follow on from the council securing £3.2m in Government funding to carry out ground investigation and stabilisation works at Belton Way, to ensure the area remains safe for homeowners, businesses, and road users.

Given the results of the survey, ground investigations are now required to determine the depth of any potential slip plane within the slope. The results of these ground investigations will provide the required technical information to design the solution at Belton Way East.

Machinery is needed where the excavations are set to take place, and this means that two groups of trees, containing mainly Elm scrub and various other tree species differing in age, need to be removed. This work is set to begin next week.

From Monday 8 February, 50 native trees will be planted south of the site. The new trees will help sustain the tree canopy cover in the area as well as providing food and shelter for wildlife, along with the other well-known benefits associated with trees

Cllr Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, inward and capital investment, said: “Southend-on-Sea is blessed to have the beautiful cliffs across the seafront and into Leigh-on-Sea. However, managing cliff slip is essential, and something that must be taken seriously. The potential problems if cliff slip is not managed appropriately could be fatal, so we are doing this to keep the area safe.

“Without this work, any further movement could potentially have a detrimental impact on surrounding residential properties, highway infrastructure, and Network Rail assets. This project has cross-party support, with local ward Councillors all on board with the work.”

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “To enable this essential work we unfortunately have to remove a number of trees at Belton Way East. Whenever we carry out work of this nature, we will always endeavour to keep trees in place. However, given the nature of these works and the machinery required, we must remove this section of trees.

“I have worked closely with our parks and arboriculture teams to ensure an appropriate replacement plan is in place, and I am pleased to see that the new tree planting programme will begin next week, with 50 trees planted south of the existing plot.

“Once the work is complete, the land will be managed as grassland habitat which is in line with the current nature designation of the area.”