THREE firms are battling it out to win the contract to construct a £36 million sea defence scheme in Clacton.

Tenders were opened on Monday and now the job begins to decide which company will be successful.

Tendring Council’s engineering department will now choose which firm will construct the defences, which stretch from Holland Haven to Clacton Pier.

Nick Turner, TDC’s cabinet member for the environment and coast protection, said: “The evaluation process will be carried out as soon as possible.

“As soon as this has been done to our satisfaction, I will be able to inform the council, our residents, and, of course the successful contractor of our intentions to award the contract.”

The scheme received planning permission in January, but the tender evaluation is likely to take several weeks.

The project will involves demolishing a number of existing timber and concrete groynes along the frontage and building 23 fishtail groynes in their place.