RESIDENTS are delighted after a £19.5 million project to stop homes slipping into the sea at Lyme Regis was given the green light.
The Environment Agency has confirmed that it was supporting phase IV of West Dorset District Council coastal protection scheme at East Cliff.
The project will safeguard about 244 homes and 900 metres of Charmouth Road and Church Street which would have been destroyed by coastal erosion over the next 50 years.
It will involve the construction of about 390 metres of sea wall, and major slope stabilisation involving heavy piling, and deep drainage.
Town mayor Sally Holman said: “This is fantastic news for Lyme.
“All credit to head of engineering projects Nick Browning and his team at West Dorset District Council who have made the submission on time.
“This will have a great impact on our town, safeguarding homes and essential access.
“Well done to all involved and thanks to all who have attended numerous coastal forums and helped with liaison over the years.
“Lyme Regis Town Council are delighted with this success.”
Preliminary work is due to start in the autumn before the main work is carried out in 2013 and 2014 The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will provide grant aid to cover the coast protection elements of the scheme.
Dorset County Council and the district council will also contribute towards the cost.
Derek Hallett and Susanne Whitemore, who have lost 46 feet of their garden in recent years at their Church Cliff home, were overjoyed.
Retired Mr Hallett, 70, of the East Cliff Residents’ Association, said: “We are absolutely delighted.
“We live on the edge of a cliff and only have 24 feet of our garden left.
“District council staff have worked extremely hard to get this.
“Everybody in East Cliff Residents Association and Church Street are extremely pleased we have got it.”
The council received full financial approval of the proposed scheme by Environment Agency, with an approved cost of £19.5million.
District council leader Robert Gould said: “It is great news that we have now received financial approval for Phase 4 of the coastal protection works at Lyme Regis.”
Story by James Tourgout in the Lyme Regis News