Blog: SECBE Awards 2024 Finalist Ventnor Eastern Esplanade Urgent Works (submitted by Mackley)

08 April 2024

Integration and Collaborative Working sponsored by PiLON

IoW Council and Mackley,

Coastal Partners Photography.

Ventnor Eastern Esplanade Urgent Works (submitted by Mackley)

Integration and Collaborative Working Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2024 finalist

Isle of Wight Council (IoWC) contacted Principal Contractor (PC) Mackley in November 2022, to mobilise an emergency response after storms caused a catastrophic failure of the Ventnor seawall and promenade. A 35m section of seawall collapsed that supports Eastern Undercliff Esplanade, protects a diameter 825mm foul sewer and the Eastern cliffs of Ventnor itself.

Losing the defence through further damage could result in significant risk to 1400 properties, a major environment incident, as the sewer was exposed, and most concerning, a risk to life. A multi-disciplinary team was assembled to find a rapid, collaborative solution, proportionate to the situation.

Within days, Mackley installed rock bags as a short term emergency solution which considered the limited access, availability and size of materials.

A major scheme for the entire Ventnor frontage is being planned by the Environment Agency (EA). The challenge was to develop a mid-term 10-year solution to protect the frontage. Within 2 weeks, Mackley developed 7 design options for the remedial solution, prioritising buildability and how to get suitable materials to a site with limited access and environmental restrictions on delivery by sea. They appointed a consultant to provide specialist geotechnical advice and verify the selected design. Mackley then installed the chosen solution, a timber king post wall, using recycled timber, protecting the frontage for the near future.

The result was the emergency being averted, none of the high risks were realised, there was no breach, no environmental incident, the collapse didn’t worsen and urgent works were delivered.

The existing Framework ensured Mackley was on site within 24 hours, giving professional input and instructing their own specialist supply chain to immediately and practically stabilise the asset.

The need for a longer-term solution was identified. IoWC engaged early with the SCG, to appoint competent and capable specialist suppliers who could support the project at short notice and reach quick decisions while the PC produced design options. Mackley appointed Jacobs as an independent consultant to verify and develop their designs given Jacobs’ geotechnical expertise on the island, specifically Professor Roger Moore’s landslip/geotechnical experience.

This project is an excellent example of how strong, long-standing relationships achieve successful outcomes and benefit a wider network.

Most notable were between the EA, their supply chain, multiple coastal authorities and local government officers from the Southern Coastal Group and SCOPAC. Through collaboration and initiatives from Mackley, sheet piles from their Portsea project with Coastal Partners and 150m3 tropical hardwood timber was sourced free-issue from their Bournemouth project with BCP Council.

Key achievements:

  • Coordination for rapid delivery – Urgent and immediate need to react. Focussed minds and efforts with need to monitor for further catastrophic failures that might pose a risk to life.
  • Collaboration within the multi-disciplinary integrated delivery team and numerous stakeholders - IoW officers, Coastal Partners, Mackley, The Environment Agency, Southern Water, Island Roads, Jacobs, AECOM, MMO.
  • Proportionate and Appropriate – Managing the integration of restoring the asset into a stable condition whilst taking a “no regrets” approach to the needs of the major EA scheme.

Client: Isle of Wight Council

Project Partners: Coastal Partners, Mackley, Jacobs, Environment Agency, Southern Water, Island Roads

Find more about Project Partners:

Coastal Partners (website, LinkedIn, X)

Mackley (website, LinkedIn, X)


Environment Agency (X, LinkedIn)

Southern Water (website, LinkedIn, X)

Island Roads (website, X)

Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023  Ceremony on Thurs 29th June 2023.

About the Integration & Collaborative Working Award (sponsored by PiLON): 

Collaborative working is central to the core values of Constructing Excellence and its drive for positive change in construction.  It is most likely to manifest in the delivery of specific projects, however those who can demonstrate a culture across a series or programme of projects show leadership in a sustained approach.  Integration of the supply chain, the client and end users will normally lead to a better outcome satisfying all stakeholders. More info

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2023 finalists here

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