Main Beach Shoreline Project

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The purpose of the Main Beach Shoreline Project is to enhance the town’s coastal protection while improving public safety and amenity so that everyone can enjoy Byron’s iconic Main Beach into the future.

The existing coastal protection structure between the First Sun Holiday Park and the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club, was designed in the 1960's to protect the town centre from the threat of coastal erosion. The structure is degraded and needs improvement.

The project considers the alignment and type of structure that will best protect Byron Bay from coastal erosion.
Once we have decided the future position of the structure, Council will work with the community to plan what may lie landward of the protection works.

Car parking, recreational areas, pedestrian pathways or a combination of all three are possible under all 7 concept designs.

Have your say

To help inform the project, we would like to understand what you value most about the Main Beach shoreline.

We have also developed seven concept designs, each with different coastal protection features, which we would like your feedback on.

An eighth concept was considered and assessed against the project criteria and objectives but was not feasible. See the consultant's Assessment of Alternative Option 8

Need more detail on the impacts the proposed concept designs could have on sand movement and erosion for Main Beach and Clarkes Beach? See the FAQs.

Find out more about this project:

The purpose of the Main Beach Shoreline Project is to enhance the town’s coastal protection while improving public safety and amenity so that everyone can enjoy Byron’s iconic Main Beach into the future.

The existing coastal protection structure between the First Sun Holiday Park and the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club, was designed in the 1960's to protect the town centre from the threat of coastal erosion. The structure is degraded and needs improvement.

The project considers the alignment and type of structure that will best protect Byron Bay from coastal erosion.
Once we have decided the future position of the structure, Council will work with the community to plan what may lie landward of the protection works.

Car parking, recreational areas, pedestrian pathways or a combination of all three are possible under all 7 concept designs.

Have your say

To help inform the project, we would like to understand what you value most about the Main Beach shoreline.

We have also developed seven concept designs, each with different coastal protection features, which we would like your feedback on.

An eighth concept was considered and assessed against the project criteria and objectives but was not feasible. See the consultant's Assessment of Alternative Option 8

Need more detail on the impacts the proposed concept designs could have on sand movement and erosion for Main Beach and Clarkes Beach? See the FAQs.

Find out more about this project:

  • View the 7 concept designs

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    04 Nov 2020
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    We are asking you to consider the seven concept design options for coastal protection.

    All seven options will be designed to withstand 100-year ARI design conditions and are expected to offer similar levels of erosion protection.

    How the different options perform under different scenarios will only be known once detailed testing is done in the next phase.

    PLEASE NOTE: The aim of this project is to consider the alignment and the type of structure that will best protect Byron Bay from coastal erosion. Once we have decided the future position of the structure, Council will work with the community to plan what may lie landward of the protection works. Car parking, recreational areas, pedestrian paths and a combination of these are possible under all 7 concept design options.

    Take the survey to share your thoughts on these designs.

    Option 1

    This concept is largely based on the preferred option that emerged in the 2014 investigation. It shows:

    • all three groynes removed
    • reconstruction of the sloping rock seawall
    • a stepped concrete seawall in the popular high-use area.

    By removing the groynes, this concept would create an uninterrupted shoreline and improve people’s connectivity along the beach in front of the structure.

    • Option 1 includes sloping rock seawall (revetment), stepped concrete seawall, beach access, vehicle access, existing structure position.

    Option 2

    This concept is similar to Option 1 with the groynes removed, however with a berm structure in front of the current carpark. Being closer to the water’s edge, this sloping rock seawall (berm structure) creates space for people to walk along a shared pathway at beach level.

    • Option 2 includes sloping rock seawall (revetment), terraced sloping rock seawall plus low level pathway, beach access, vehicle access, existing structure position.

    Option 3

    This concept shows removal of the two short groynes and a small part of the main central groyne to create a ‘detached groyne’. This would create an uninterrupted shoreline and enable people to move all the way along the beach, while still keeping the main groyne which is perceived to provide benefits for surfing.

    • Option 3 includes sloping rock seawall (revetment), detached groyne, beach access, vehicle access, existing structure position.

    Option 4

    This concept replaces the central groyne with an artificial rounded headland offering more public space, protection, enhanced foreshore amenity and potentially enhanced surf amenity. This option would be combined with a small scale sand by-pass system built into the headland to increase sand movement from east to west.

    • Option 4 includes new protection structure, artificial headland, beach access, vehicle access, existing structure position, sand bypass pump.

    Option 5

    This concept considers the reconstruction of the structure in a more landward position by 10m and removes all three groynes. The landward shift would still allow car parking as well as a shared pathway corridor while protecting the entire pool site. Options for the protection structure would be further explored once feedback on the alignment and key design elements are received from the community. However, it is envisaged that a vertical seawall would maximise beach space. It is noted that a boardwalk could be placed seaward of the protection structure to provide additional recreational foreshore space.

    • Option 5 includes new protection structure, beach access, vehicle access, existing structure position, existing carpark border.

    Option 6

    This concept considers a more significant shift landward of up to 30m in places. It is not based on retaining existing assets but looks at the ‘bigger picture’ of offering maximum protection to Byron Bay town centre while achieving the best result in terms of maximising beach space. This approach removes all groynes with full realignment of the structure landward and creates an uninterrupted shoreline and wider beach. This option is the most relevant option that aligns with the principle of keeping the beach as much we can while providing the greatest long-term protection. It is noted that a boardwalk could be placed seaward of the protection structure to provide additional recreational foreshore space.

    • Option 6 new protection structure, beach access, vehicle access, existing structure position, existing carpark border.

    Option 7

    This concept retains the existing structure and groynes repairing it to a contemporary standard. This approach is based on maintaining the status quo.

    • Option 7 includes upgraded protection structure, open space park area, beach access, vehicle access.


  • Main Beach Shoreline project overview

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    04 Nov 2020
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    The existing coastal protection structure between the First Sun Holiday Park and the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club at Main Beach, Byron Bay, was designed to protect the town centre from the threat of coastal erosion.

    First constructed in the 1960s the structure is degraded and needs improvement.

    Council has commenced the Main Beach Shoreline Project to enhance the town’s coastal protection while improving public safety and amenity so that everyone can enjoy Byron’s iconic Main Beach into the future.

    Council has engaged Bluecoast Consulting Engineers to deliver the first stage of the Main Beach Shoreline Project.

    This first stage is focused on finding options and solutions for modification of the structure that will give the best possible outcomes for Main Beach and adjacent coastlines in line with the following project objectives:

    1. To provide adequate protection to the Byron Bay town centre against current and future coastal hazards.
    2. To mitigate adverse current and future risks from coastal hazards, taking into account the effects of climate change.
    3. To mitigate impacts on coastal processes (e.g. down-drift effects) through reduction of the project footprint.
    4. To improve the structural integrity of the structure.
    5. To improve public safety around the structure.
    6. To enhance recreational amenity, public access and use of the foreshore around the structure.

    The project includes:

    • coastal modelling
    • geomorphological assessment of the shoreline
    • collection of wave data
    • expert observations.

    Social, environmental and economic values are also being considered as part of the approach.

    Download Main Beach Shoreline Project - Fact Sheet - Phase two

    Take the survey to provide your feedback

  • Main Beach Shoreline Project phases

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    04 Nov 2020
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    A rigorous four-phase approach will be undertaken by a project team of world-class professionals who will assess and analyse the most cost effective options for modification of the structure to find the best solution.

    Phase 1

    Baseline Understanding

    A comprehensive review of all relevant previous studies, data sets and the current condition of the coastal structures will be completed to provide a baseline understanding for the project including the community and cultural values of the area.

    The team will monitor shoreline change as well as local waves, currents and sea levels and simulate waves that occurred over the last 30 years. This will help understand the underlying coastal processes driving increasing erosion and flooding risk. Combining this information will highlight the opportunities and constraints of the proposed modification of the coastal structure.

    Phase 2

    Development of Concept Design Options

    This phase will determine a set of suitable concept designs that offer a range of viable solutions.

    A standardised assessment will be undertaken that considers the positive and negative aspects of each option using a wide range of criteria - including coastal protection, the natural environment, community values, ecology and economics. Key stakeholders will be invited to be part of the evaluation process, which in collaboration with the specialist team will select a few of the most suitable options to take forward for detailed assessment.

    Phase 3

    Detailed Assessments of Modification Options

    By applying robust coastal science, including advanced computer modelling, the performance of the selected options will be predicted. To ensure confidence in the predicted outcomes a multiple lines of evidence approach will be adopted combining science, real data and engineering.

    The project team includes local architects to build on the learnings from the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan as well as construction experts that will bring value to developing the construction methodology and costs.

    Phase 4

    Evaluation and Determination of Preferred Option

    A second-pass evaluation will then inform the selection of the preferred modification option for the existing coastal structures. Following engagement with the wider community, economists, the engineering team and a subject matter expert panel, a preferred concept design will be selected. A detailed cost benefit assessment will be undertaken to help inform the final investment decision by Council.