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Paignton and Preston coastal flood protection scheme

View our plans to protect Paignton and Preston seafronts with coastal defences, including improving public spaces.

Update November 2023

We have now submitted an application for the Coastal Flood Protection Scheme to Torbay Council as the Local Planning Authority.

The current scheme has been informed by many rounds of stakeholder and public engagement activity. These took place between 2021 and 2023.

The initial concept was of a traditional front line concrete sea wall. The scheme has now evolved into a tiered sea defence with enhanced placemaking in the seafront areas. This transition has been informed by consultation feedback from residents and stakeholders. We want to create a high-quality coastal defence and enhanced public space. We want to make sure it is fit for the future of Paignton and Preston seafronts.

Background to scheme

As a reminder, the Masterplan includes the sea defences that both Paignton and Preston seafronts need. This is to protect these areas from rising sea levels over the next 50 years. Estimates show that over the next 50 years over 350 properties are at risk of flooding due to climate change. By providing defences now, this risk can be drastically reduced. 

We want to protect and improve the precious open spaces along the seafront. This is why we have developed the masterplan for the seafronts in Paignton and Preston. The plan also looks at creating a happy, healthy and vibrant place. We want to celebrate the special qualities of our seafront areas. 

We have divided the plan into phases. Subject to approval, we will develop these over a number of years. This will be as and when funding is available. The first projects delivered will be the sea defence elements. For this part we have secured £4.6milion from:

  • the Environment Agency
  • Section 106 contributions
  • the Future High Streets Fund

The masterplan

We commissioned LDA Design to run the public engagement on the masterplan. Together, we want to:

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

We have worked on this with communities and local stakeholders. We want to develop a once in a lifetime plan to improve our seafronts and protect the town.


  • Phase One 
    • February to March 2022. Understanding the existing situation.
  • Phase Two 
    • Starting Monday 23 May 2022. Running for three weeks. Visions, principles and design options.
  • Phase Three
    • June to July 2022. Review of the ideas.
  • Masterplan Approved by Cabinet. January 2023.
  • Pre-planning Consultation. Autumn 2023.
  • Planning application submitted. Late 2023.

Pre-planning consultation September/October 2023

During this phase, all interested parties could give feedback on the plan before we sent it to the Local Planning Authority.

We held an in-person event on 7 September 2023 with over 60 people in attendance. This was as well as Social Media posts promoting the online consultation,

Of those people who responded to the most recent round of consultations:

  • 70% liked the materials shown in the presentation. This Includes a caveat linked to concerns over the use of timber furniture on the coastal edge.
  • 76% liked the trees and planting suggested. Some comments requesting ‘more trees’ across the scheme.
  • 61% felt they had been provided with enough information.
  • 74% supported these proposals.


The scheme as submitted is the culmination of three years design evolution. This has been informed by extensive consultation with:

  • residents
  • stakeholders
  • businesses
  • future investors
  • community groups

They have taken the opportunity to influence the scheme and provide valued input. We have listened to consultation feedback. Where appropriate to enhance the scheme, we integrated changes into the final application.

The planning application will be subject to a statutory period of consultation. This will be the last chance to comment on the proposed development. It will be the last chance to influence the submitted scheme.

Find out more about The Consultation Process. 

Contact Community Protection