Coast fear as work continues

Storm damage late last year to the front row of seats SUS-150113-152014001
Storm damage late last year to the front row of seats SUS-150113-152014001

A PREDICTED storm last night was the latest winter threat to Pagham’s eroded beach.

Parish council chairman Ray Radmall and residents were keeping a close watch on the weather.

Recent storms have failed to produce the mixture of high tides and strong winds which have caused havoc on the beach. But Cllr Radmall said this was ‘luck’.

He and his fellow councillor, Mike Cole, removed the front three of the public seats on the yacht club foreshore on Sunday because erosion had started to send them sliding down the disappearing shingle.

This is despite being anchored into slabs of concrete which Cllr Radmall said could weigh a ton each. The teak seats, which cost about £450 each, will be recycled and placed in the children’s play area next to the village hall.

Cllr Radmall said the short-term measure was complemented by continuing work on the council’s coast protection scheme.

A meeting on Monday saw members of the council’s coast defence steering group given a presentation by its consultants about the project’s progress.

“The consultants are looking at a re-appraisal of other options but the central focus is on the only viable solution, which is to put the harbour mouth back where it was before 2004,” said Cllr Radmall.

This will involve cutting a channel in the still-growing Church Norton Spit which has grown in the past ten years.

The consultants would produce a draft action plan and an environmental impact assessment by early April, Cllr Radmall said.

“We are making progress. This is going to cost us £140,000 on top of the awful lot of money we’ve spent so far,” he said.

“But there does appear to be the potential for success.”

Work should start in late August and finish by early October.