HUNDREDS of homes are set to be protected from rising tides after floor prevention plans for Shoebury were announced.

Residents have been invited to give their opinions on plans drawn up by marine engineers. They have suggested four options for coastal management schemes along the 1.2mile stretch of coast between Thorpe Bay Yacht Club and the World War II Quick Battery.

The bid to protect 237 homes and 58 businesses along the 1,000 yard stretch have proved controversial in the past.

Campaigners protested against original 2010 plans for a £5million, 7ft wall over the common when it was passed by the then Tory administration, which went on to lose power to a coalition administration in local elections in 2014.

The administration scrapped the scheme and began an investigation in ways to improve current coastal defences which were all constructed between the 1920s and 1960s.

Currently low-lying areas are said to be at risk of flooding from the sea during storms where large waves would potentially coincide with torrential downpours

The latest proposals include maintaining existing defences with patch repairs over the next 30 years.

This would be a low cost option but would not provide improved protection against future flooding.

A second option would be “armour at the base of the seawall”. This would entail placing rocks at the base of the existing seawall which would not be raised. This would prevent loss of sand from around the seawall but again would not provide improved flood defences.

The third option involved burying “geotextile bags” beneath the sand to raise beach levels and replace timber groynes which are in a poor condition. This would provide extra flood protection and stabilise existing defences. The bags could become exposed and damaged however, and there is some concern over the impact bird habitats.

The final proposal entails raising the existing seawall and replacing timber groynes. A floodgate would be installed at the Thorpe Bay Yacht Club launch ramp. Beach levels would also be raised along part of the stretch. This option would offer better protection against flooding and is considered the cheapest long-term option.

However it could impact on the view of the estuary along the Shoebury Common promenade.

A preferred option will be chosen once the public consultation ends on February 18 next year.

Campaigner, Peter Lovett, said: “Shoebury Residents, along with the Beach Hut Association, Friends of Shoebury Common & Garrison Residents’ Association have been working a stakeholders' group for two-and-a-half years, attending meetings with the council and consultants and trying to agree a design which we feel would be accepted by the residents.

“We have attended several meetings where it was agreed the design would be advanced and sensible costs produced. It was agreed we would all get back together again to agree how they should present the design to the residents.

“Finding out from another source about the consultation was a complete shock. The idea of having us as Stakeholders was to ensure we support the council and encourage all our members that this will be the best option. What a joke this is.”

Peter Grubb, owner of Uncle Toms Cabin café on Shoebury Common, added: “I only heard about the consultation two days ago when someone sent me a copy. The council has turned its back on the original steering committee and gone their own way.

“I have made a formal complaint.”

Councillor Mark Flewitt, from Southend Council, said: “We have been in regular communication with key stakeholders for the Shoeburyness coastal management scheme for several years.

“This has included hosting special meetings for Friends of Shoebury Common, the Beach Hut Owners’ Association and local residents’ associations.

“These meetings have been productive and have enabled us to refine potential schemes and get to the stage of being able to consult the rest of the local community, whose views and input are of equal importance.” Visit for more on the scheme.