Ramp construction scheduled to commence at Sideshore in May

Along with the Watersports centre at Exmouth, local developer Grenadier is building a new £175,000 ramp to provide visitors with immediate and easy access from the walkway above to the beach. The ramp, which will be made from a mixture of sustainable FSC-certified timber, concrete, and steel, will be installed in front of Sideshore.

Currently there are various stairways from the walkway onto the beach, but the new ramp will enable all visitors to access the beach step-free and provide visitors with limited ability or those carrying sports equipment to access the beach safely and with ease.

At 3-metres wide and 25 meters in length, the ramp will provide much-needed access to the beach for those who may currently struggle to use the staircases. Sideshore itself has disability access to ensure as many visitors to the centre as possible can access the new space safely.

Construction work for the new ramp is scheduled to commence on the 4th May, and is expected to be completed before the end of June 2021. The timing of the construction of the ramp is important as to not disturb migratory birds over-wintering in the local area.

Ross Bower, EAD Ecology, said: “Although the site does not lie within any designated conservation areas, it does border them. The Exe Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA) lies immediately adjacent to the boundary of Sideshore, and this area supports over-wintering birds of European importance, including the Dark-bellied Brent Goose and Oystercatcher.

It is important that these birds are undisturbed from feeding and roosting, so the works have been timed to avoid the key winter period when they are present on the estuary, ready for their return in the autumn..”

Grenadier, local developers of Sideshore, have been working closely with Teignmouth Maritime Services Ltd to minimise disruption to the local wildlife and visitors to the beach. During the works, a small, contained area of the beach and walkway will be separated from the public with access to the beach still permitted via the existing staircases. The cycle route beside the beach promenade will be redirected around the back of Sideshore, and pedestrians will be provided direct access across the promenade through Sideshore, safely away from construction.

Aiden Johnson-Hugill, Property Director, Grenadier, commented: “The new ramp is a great investment for Exmouth as it will provide safe, easy, and step-free access to the beach for visitors.

Grenadier are working closely with Teignmouth Maritime Services to ensure the construction area and disruptions are kept to a minimum. A vibro-piling technique will be used which will reduce noise, ensure ample support for the foundations, and be much quicker compared with conventional methods. Almost one third of the ramp will be constructed under the current sand levels, reinforcing its strength and durability.”

Finding a solution to ensure adequate durability in a marine environment is challenging and would normally require the use of non-sustainable tropical hardwoods. Grenadier, who pride themselves on being a sustainable developer, have instead responsibly sourced FSC-certified timber to line the edges of the ramp and the handrails, which will be supported by concrete panels and a steel frame to provide a robust structure.

Every detail has been considered to ensure the overall Sideshore development is as self-sufficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Sideshore reached an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘A’ which is ground-breaking for a commercial building of this type.

Committed to an environmentally conscious approach to development, local developer Grenadier wants to push the boundaries of sustainability to deliver a project which not only benefits the community but also the wider environment.

Sideshore ramp

Please note, this image is for illustrative purposes only.

Red: Where construction will take place and temporarily closed to the public

Orange: Temporary pedestrian diversion

Blue: Temporary cycle route