From Torridge Council:

In recent months, a sizeable void was detected on the slipway at Bucks Mills in Torridge. This led to temporary fencing cordoning off of a section of the slipway to allow engineers to assess the structure.

An outline investigation has been completed and independent advice sought on the most appropriate action needed to infill the void and bring the historic slipway back into a reasonable and safe condition. The site poses several challenges given its age, location and fragility of some of the structure.

Work is now due to start on the slipway on Friday 28th April and will run through to the 5th of May. Some extension to the works may be required depending on progress made and any further defects being uncovered during the process. The works will include infilling the void with a low slump concrete over multiple pours to ensure that an excessive amount of pressure is not exerted against the inside of the seawall.

Bucks Mills

Due to the multiple concrete pours, and the challenging access to the site, a small concrete lorry will be located at the top of the access path and small wheeled dumpers will be used to transport the concrete to the site. At the void, a small excavator will be used to conduct measured infill of the void with the concrete from the wheeled dumpers.

Whilst the work is being undertaken, it is necessary to close the access path to the beach to protect members of the public and contractors undertaking the work. In addition, the southernmost section of the car park at Bucks Mills will be used as a works compound for contractor vehicles and materials needed for the repair. The compound will also be used to sort the stone material currently stored in this location, which came from the recent partial demolition of the lime kiln by the slipway. Some of the stone will be used to infill the void, as well as provide the replacement surface once the void is infilled.

Sean Kearney – Head of Communities and Place said:

“Access to the coastline is vitally important for our communities and visitors alike. It is unfortunate that the slipway has suffered this unforeseen collapse, probably as a result of age and recent storm weathering. We regret having to close the access to the beach during the repairs but this is unavoidable given the nature of the work required. The team have made great efforts to arrange the repairs as quickly as possible in advance of the summer season and we will complete the work as quickly as possible to restore beach access for the public.”