KML are pleased to have successfully completed a second rock armour project to protect the cliffs and the railway behind at Hollicombe for Torbay Council.  

Hollicombe Head is a sandstone cliff located in Paignton between Hollicombe and Marine Parade. In the mid 1800’s to the rear of the cliff the main railway line between Paignton and London was constructed. Over the years due to the cliff being exposed to the full force of easterly storm events, coastal erosion has occurred. The rate of coastal erosion has varied along the length of the cliffs and due to the risk of the railway being lost in the 1950’s rock armouring was installed as coastal protection to a large section of the cliffs behind Hollicombe beach. A section of the cliffs did not receive rock armouring at this time and it is this section of cliffs that had eroded significantly.   In order to prevent the continued regression of the cliff face, the toe protection scheme in the form of a rock armour defence wall some 110m length was positioned to protect the exposed sandstone cliff.

The project, overseen for Torbay Council by the Torbay Development Agency, has seen almost 15,500 tonnes of granite boulders extracted from the Cornish Chywoon quarry in Penryn, transported to KML’s independent Falmouth Wharves where it was loaded onto KML’s specialist rock barges using 50t specialist excavators with rock grabs. Using KML’s fleet of multi-purpose vessels, the rock barge was towed from Falmouth  to Hollicombe Beach, where the stone was discharged to the intertidal dropzone and subsequently placed into the rock revetment, protecting Hollicombe’s and adjacent Oil Cove’s crumbling cliffs and the railway line behind, from erosion by the sea and extreme weather.

The completed rock armour project now provides cliff protection to a 110metre section of Hollicombe Beach and 50 metres of revetment repair further along at Oil Cove.

This is a significant investment for us,” says Councillor Robert Excel, Executive Lead for Community Services from Torbay Council. “No-one can legislate for ferocious storms like those of February 2014, but working with KML we’re doing our best to protect our precious coastline.”

KML look back on a successful project which was well received by its client and the community.