Skip to content

Dawlish sea wall – section two

Plans for section two of new sea wall to protect the railway for passengers and the people of Dawlish.

Our plans for the remainder of the new £80m sea wall for Dawlish – a 415m stretch between the Coastguards and Colonnade breakwaters – received approval in August 2020 and construction is progressing well.

The new wall will cost £80million and be delivered in two sections. The first section, which runs for approximately 400m from Colonnade underpass, west of Dawlish station, to Boat Cove has now been built, ensuring that this section of railway is more resilient for future generations.

When both sections are built, the new, larger structure will protect the town and the railway for the next 100 years.

Limited access to beach and promenade

While we carry out our work on section two of the Dawlish sea wall, the footpath and beach between Colonnade and Coastguards breakwaters remains closed.

Coastguards footbridge reopened in March 2022, allowing walkers to head towards Dawlish Warren once more. However, a diversion remains in place between Colonnade viaduct and Coastguards footbridge.

In addition, during the week beginning Monday 13 June 2022, the access at Colonnade underpass to the beach/ King’s Walk promenade is due to close for up to 12 weeks.

The closure is required for safety reasons due to the location and size of machinery needed to install the foundations for the bridge that will join together the two sections of accessible public promenade.

Kings Walk promenade and the section of beach between Colonnade breakwater and Boat Cove will remain open with access via the stepped footbridge at Kennaway tunnel.

A signed footpath diversion will be in place and businesses remain open as usual. If we can safely open the underpass during this period, we will. Please see local signage or visit our South West Rail Resilience Programme Facebook or Twitter pages for updates.

Map showing footpath diversion during temporary closure of Colonnade underpass

Our plans

Artist's impression of the wall from Dawlish beach
Artist’s impression of wall from Dawlish beach
Cross section view of sea wall from Dawlish beach
Cross section view of sea wall from Dawlish beach

Based on scientific modelling and laboratory testing of various options by world experts, we propose to protect the railway and station by constructing the following measures to increase resilience to extreme weather and tides, and provide enhanced amenities for local people and passengers:

  • The construction of a new, taller sea wall between the two breakwaters.
  • A wider, taller, public walkway incorporated into the wall with views onto the beach.
  • Reconstruction of the timber Dawlish station seaward platform.
  • A new, accessible station footbridge with lifts.
  • New pedestrian ramped access to the beach from the promenade.
  • Improved passenger experience through better protection from the sea.

Download our FAQs PDF

Listen to our community phone-in

We held a public teleconference to answer questions from residents on Wednesday 3 June. You may listen to a recording below.

Environmental implications

Detailed environmental and habitat studies have been undertaken and these concluded that the works will have a limited impact on the marine environment around Dawlish.

Any potential to cause harm during construction will be closely monitored and managed through the Marine Licence process.

Marine Management Organisation – Environmental Impact Assessment Screening

What are the benefits?

The project will:

  • Continue to boost the local economy in Dawlish and Teignbridge. By the time the first section of the new sea wall is completed, Network Rail and its main contractor, BAM Nuttall, expect to have spent nearly £5m on local labour, materials and accommodation.  We expect to spend a similar amount locally during construction of the second section.
  • Help to protect the railway from the sea, leading to fewer line closures and a quicker recovery after large storm events to enable a normal service to resume.
  • Improve the experience for passengers getting on and off trains during high tides and stormy weather by reducing the overtopping and spray reaching the platform.
  • Help preserve the coastal path for future generations, as well as create opportunities to enhance the promenade, including more seating.
  • Protect the new, higher-level promenade from inundation by beach material, making the area more accessible for all.
  • Remove pigeon roosts, leading to a cleaner promenade and improved water quality.
  • Make travel easier for passengers with disabilities/pushchairs/heavy luggage by providing an accessible footbridge.
  • Improve safety by removing the barrow crossing currently used for escorting passengers with disabilities.
  • Potentially bring more of the station building into use and provide longevity and protection to the listed station building itself.

The planning process

The local planning authority, Teignbridge District Council, granted prior approval and Listed Building Consent for our proposals in August 2020.

The plans for ‘prior approval’ were submitted under our permitted development rights, enabling the council to formally consult the local community on the proposed designs. Listed Building Consent was sought as the works are physically attached to the Grade II listed Dawlish Station.

The letters of submission and all the supporting documents and drawings are available to download below.

In addition to the planning and heritage consents, an application for a Marine Licence has been submitted to the Marine Management Organisation.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the plans, you can send us an email at:

You can also visit our contact us page, call our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or you can contact us on Twitter at @SouthWestRRP

Related pages

Together we can end domestic abuse