West Beach Revetment Removal Works


Understanding the history of the West Beach defences

The timber sea defences at West Beach were constructed in 1976 in response to beach erosion. Inn-on-the-Beach was previously a lifeboat station when the coastline was further seaward in the 1900s, but subsequent structural changes, impacted upon the predominantly east to west sedimentation flow arriving on West Beach.

The timber structures have been maintained regularly since they were put in place. As Hayling is regularly exposed to large powerful waves, the structures have become worn by the action of the waves and shingle abrasion, quickly reducing the serviceable life of the structure.

The revetment suffered severe storm damage in 2012 and 2014 which resulted in half of the structure having to be removed due to health and safety concerns. During the 2019/20 winter, unrepairable damage was caused by a series of storm events which has resulted in the decision to remove a 140m section of revetment. This will leave a 50m length of revetment to the west of Inn on the Beach, together with the functioning groynes. 

West Beach Timber Groyne West Beach Timber Groyne
West Beach Timber Groyne West Beach Timber Groyne

Project Updates

19th February 2021

Before low tide this morning our contractor started removing the ineffective groyne at West Beach.
Forecasted tide levels didn't fall as low as projected so to ensure the safety of our staff, only the landward portion of the groyne could be removed – as illustrated in the pictures.

The remaining section of timber groyne will be removed towards the end of next week. Once a date has been confirmed, this webpage and social media will be updated.

West Beach Emergancy Repairs West Beach Emergancy Repairs

18th February 2021

Following recent storms, the isolated groyne (no.54) at West Beach has suffered irreparable damage and is posing a significant health and safety risk. This groyne is no longer effective at holding beach material, and will therefore be removed from the beach on Friday 19th February 2021 over low tide.

Some of the work may be undertaken during non-daylight hours to coincide with the low tide, with appropriate safety precautions in place. The timber structure will be removed to the work compound located in the former West Beach car park, which is currently in use for our beach management works. For your safety we would appreciate if you remain clear of both the compound and work area.

Emergency Repairs at West Beach Emergency Repairs at West Beach

19th November 2020

The two timber groynes at West Beach identified as being irredeemable, have been successfully removed. Monthly beach monitoring surveys will continue to be undertaken by our Geomatics Division, to help understand the natural evolution taking place.

16th November 2020

Two groynes at West Beach have suffered irreparable damage in the most recent storms and are no longer effective. They pose a potential health and safety hazard if not removed. The works are planned to start on the 16th November and will last approximately one week.

Some works will be undertaken during non-daylight hours to coincide with morning low tides, with appropriate safely precaution in place. A small compound will be established at the far western end of former West Beach car park. We would appreciate if you remain clear of both the compound and works area for your safety.”


30th October 2020

We are aware of recent storm damage to Groyne 55

If you're out in the water kitesurfing or windsurfing then please take extra care and keep away from the timber groynes at West Beach, Hayling Island, as there are loose timbers on the submerged structure. Coastal Partners officers will be assessing the structure for removal as soon as tidal conditions prevail - but in the meantime please keep clear of the groynes. We continue to monitor the coastal change at West Beach, the latest monitoring results are shown in the Related Documents section.

Weekly Project Updates

Week 3 

20th-24th July

Council contractor off site – contract completed!
On Wednesday 22nd July, Earlcoate Construction moved their excavators off site. The temporary fencing around the car park has now been taken down after the successful removal of the 140m section of the timber revetment. The temporary security fencing on the seaward side of the beach huts has also been removed, returning the beach to full public usage. We anticipate being able to offer some small quantities of salvaged timber at the end of August. Those who have emailed us with an interest in the timber will be contacted shortly. The beach will be regularly monitored as it slowly develops naturally.

For information about the beach huts and car parking, please contact the Council’s Neighbourhood Support Service via the Council’s email inforequests@havant.gov.uk 

Site Operations

Following a tendered procurement process, Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire Ltd were awarded the project. Work to remove a 140m section of revetment is programmed to commence Monday, 6 July 2020 and anticipated to be completed within 4 weeks. Regular updates will be made as we progress.

Site of Works 

Location plan for works at West Beach Location plan for works at West Beach


Can I still visit the beach? 
Yes, but please note that there will be less space than usual as for health and safety reasons, we will be closing off a section of the beach. There will be a signed temporary footpath diversion in place.

Where can I park my car? 
You can find the list of car parks on Havant Borough Council’s website here: www.havant.gov.uk/beachlands

Can I access and use my beach hut behind the revetment?
Yes, but please be mindful that there will be heavy machinery in use and path diversions in place.

What will happen to the old timbers? Can I have some of this?
We must consider public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, and as such, we can’t allow members of the public inside the works compound area. Any useful, significant pieces will be transported to the Havant Borough Council storage yard for Council use. Whatever is left, will be made available for public use. If you would like to register your interest for any timber, please email coastal.team@havant.gov.uk with your contact details and we will be in touch during late summer.

To view more FAQ's, please view our related documents

Week 2 

13-17th July

Removal Works Completed Ahead of Programme!
A fantastic effort by the Councils contractor Earlcoate Construction completed the revetment removal works 2 weeks ahead of programme. Earlcoate Construction will shortly be removing the temporary compound area and leaving the site.
We have already begun beach monitoring surveys using our quadcopter drone and will have footage to view very soon. Thank you for your cooperation during these works. Site fencing in front of the beach huts will hopefully be removed week commencing 20 July.

Week 1 

6-10th July

The Council’s contractor, Earlcoate Construction commence removal operations on Monday, 6th July having established their temporary works compound in West Beach car park the week before.

Progress has been excellent with over 50% of the structure removed, and our contractor ahead of programme. 

There are a number of operations in the process of removing the aging timber revetment, these are:

  • Using oxyacetylene equipment to disconnect metal bolts and screws
  • Cutting timbers using chainsaws
  • Removal of sheet piles and timber panels using excavators
  • Loading 25ton dumper trucks loaded with removed timbers and stored at the works compound
  • 40ton excavator used for lifting and placing of the rock armouring to close off gap behind remaining revetment structure