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Phase one of the Masterplan engagement has now closed. Phase two will be starting on Monday 16 May 2022 and will be running for three weeks. More information on how you can get involved in this next phase will be available soon.

We want to improve the sea defences at Paignton and Preston seafront and after listening to what you have already told us we have now extended our plans.

We want to improve more of the open spaces and areas around both seafronts. We also want to make sure we have the right sea defences to protect Paignton and Preston in the future.

LDA Design have been commissioned by us to run the public engagement on the new seafront masterplan. Together, we want to:

  • protect and improve the precious open spaces along the seafront
  • create a happy, healthy, and vibrant place
  • celebrate the special qualities of our seafront areas.

We want to work with you to develop a once in a lifetime plan to improve our seafronts and protect the town.

There are three phases to this consultation and we are now in the first phase. We want to hear from everyone - young, old, families, visitors and everyone in between. This is anyone who uses or visits either or both Paignton and Preston seafronts.

We are very keen to hear from young people as they will be the ones who will be growing up with these changes.

We are also keen to hear from residents and businesses who have properties that are affected when the areas behind the seafronts flood.

Get involved


  • Phase One - - Understanding the existing situation
    February to March 2022 – NOW CLOSED
  • Phase Two - Visions, principles and design options
    Starting Monday 16 May 2022 and running for three weeks
  • Phase Three - Review of the ideas
    June to July 2022

Thank you to those businesses and residents that took the time to take part in phase one by attending our focus groups, workshops and face to face and online consultation. LDA Design are now looking at all the feedback and will be sharing a number of proposals on how the seafronts at Paignton and Preston could look, along with a sea defence scheme that will protect the town from flooding.

For phase two LDA Design will be running similar events and information on how to take part will be available early May.

Phase one engagement

Phase one started on Monday 28 February and ran until Sunday 20 March 2022. This first phase was about gaining an understanding on what people liked, or didn’t like, about the seafronts as they currently are. The consultation also asked for ideas on how the areas could be improved.

So LDA Design could talk to and hear from a wide range of people who live by, use or have businesses around Paignton and Preston seafront, they ran the following focus groups and workshops:

  • Met with those who use Paignton Green for events
  • Attended Paignton and Preston Community Partnership meeting
  • Met with the Chair of the Beach Hut Users Group
  • Held a face to face workshop with a number of businesses who are based on, or close to, both seafronts
  • Focus groups were held with Ward Councillors from Roundham and Hyde and Preston Wards
  • Focus groups with a range of Council officers from a range of departments including – Parking, Highways, Active Travel, Events, SWISCo, Harbours, Planning, Community Safety and Regeneration
  • Young people from South Devon College were invited to take part in discussions in their Tutor Groups

Residents and visitors to the seafronts were also invited to get involved by:

  • Completing an online questionnaire
  • Attending a virtual public workshop
  • Attend a walk and talk with LDA Design on a Saturday in March.

As a reminder, this video was shared and those who took part were advised to watch it as it shows more about the history of the seafronts and how they came to be and are used like they are now.

The map below shows you the area that LDA Design will be looking at. Please note, Marine Drive isn’t included on this map but after feedback we have already received, we will look at this as well.

Previous Proposals in 2021

As our climate is changing, sea levels are rising and more storms are hitting Torbay, we have been taking a look at our sea defences, particularly those in Paignton and Preston. 

Along with the Environment Agency we commissioned an assessment of our current coastal defences. This has shown that the sea defences we currently have on both seafronts at Paignton and Preston will only provide protection from flooding from storms for up to another 10 years.

It has been predicted that due to the climate change we will see the sea level rise in Torbay by over one metre. In the next 100 years the frequency and impact of water coming over the top of the sea walls will increase, resulting in more infrastructure and properties being affected by flooding. On top of that, more intense rainfall will increase the risk of localised flooding and erosion.

At the moment, whenever we experience storms like Storm Emma in 2018, up to 90 residential properties and just over 120 commercial properties are at risk of flooding.  The Torbay Coastal Defences report estimates that, with another 50 years of climate change, the total number of properties at risk of flooding would be 352.

By acting now we can rapidly reduce this risk to properties.

The maps below show:

  • Map 1 – Flooding – Present day without the proposed wall
  • Map 2 – Flooding – After 50 years of climate change without a wall
  • Map 3 – 50 years climate change after the proposed wall is built

In this video you can see the impact that flooding could have over the next 50 years in Paignton and Preston if we did not build a new sea defence.

Here’s a reminder of the flooding we experienced following Storm Emma in 2018.

Working together with the Environment Agency, who have recognised the urgency of this, our residents and local businesses around Paignton and Preston Seafront, we want to develop a scheme which protects and enhances the area.  A scheme that improves the seafront area and enhances the experience for residents and visitors who visit the beaches, Paignton and Preston greens and the surrounding areas.

We are proposing that a sea wall that ranges from 1.1 to 1.5 metres is built along the two seafronts.

On Paignton Seafront it will run from Paignton Club all the way along the seafront to the Redcliffe Hotel. The proposal is for the wall to be positioned away from the current sea wall and will be built in the areas where the pavement meets the Green. The positioning of the wall is currently being determined and our current proposals are to run the wall behind the recently refurbished shelters ensuring that three sides have the same sea views that they currently have. This would mean though that the green-facing side would be close to the wall.

A wall of a similar size will also be built from The Boathouse at Preston, running between the Beach Huts that face the sea and those that face the Green, all the way up to the Marine Parade. This means there will be no change to the views from, or of, the huts.

Proposal Of Wall Paignton

Contains OS Data © Crown copyright and database rights 2021

As you can see on these proposals, along both walls there are a number of breaks suggested for access. The idea is for a gate or other type of barricade to be used to close these access gaps off when there is a risk of flooding. For example, at the Redcliffe Hotel end of the Paignton wall an innovative gate solution will be required.

We are proposing that the height of the wall will be at:

  • Paignton Green, South of the Pier – 1 metre
  • Paignton Green, North of the Pier – 1.1 metres
  • Preston Green – 1.5 metres
Next Steps

To build this wall it will cost £3,142,000. The majority of the funding (95%) has been secured from the Environment Agency. We will be contributing £105,000 by using funds raised through Section 106 agreements and a commitment from the 2021/22 Budget .

Our first initial consultation on this scheme is now closed, thank you to those who took part. All of the feedback has been passed to our Engineers who will be taking it into consideration as we move through the engagement process.

A second consultation also ran from the end of March through to early April where we asked for your thoughts on the designs and patterns to go on the wall. The idea is for these designs to reflect the local area, similar to the images of what Morecambe have put on their wall which you can see below. Thank you all those who took the time to complete this, it was viewed 1,114 times and 187 comments were left. We will be taking the responses from this into consideration as we move forward with the ongoing engagement.


Construction was due to start later this year, after the summer 2021, but as we will be carrying out more extensive engagement on this scheme, construction will not be taking place this year. As soon as we know more we will update these pages.

Consultation on our proposals – now closed

During February 2021 we asked for feedback on the questions below. All of the responses received have been passed on to be taken into consideration and to help shape the planning application.

  • Do you think it is important to protect homes and businesses from flooding and to safeguard our critical infrastructure?
  • Do you think it is important for Torbay to accept the offer of government funding to help protect our communities from flooding and to future proof Paignton as a place to live and visit?
  • Do you agree with the location of the proposed breaks in the wall? See images above for these
  • Where do you feel the best locations are for the accessible up and over crossing points?
  • As you will see from the images above, the proposal is for the wall to go around the Victorian Shelters on the Green side, do you agree with this or would you prefer to have them on the seaward side?

Below are the Architectural drawings of the proposed wall and, in more detail, where the current proposed breaks in the wall are

Coastal Defence Wall Geopark Area Plan
Coastal Defence Wall Paignton Central Plan
Coastal Defence Wall Paignton North Area Plan
Coastal Defence Wall Pier Approach Area Plan
Coastal Defence Wall Paignton South Plan
Coastal Defence Wall Preston Central Plan
Coastal Defence Wall Preston North Plan