Urgent work protects homes in Pagham

URGENT work is under way to protect seafront homes in Pagham.

About 1,000 tons of shingle are being moved along the beach behind West Front Road by a contractor working for Arun District Council.

The shoring up started on Monday. It is set to last for a week.

Roger Spencer, the council’s coastal defence principal engineer, told residents in the area: “We anticipate moving approximately 1,000 cubic metres of shingle from the beach a few hundred metres to the west of the last rock groyne eastwards, back to where it has been lost.

“Please note that we are using this pilot, small-scale project to mitigate the very local recent loss of crest width.
 “We will be using the results of this work to help judge how to proceed in the future.”

The work was publicised last Wednesday at the joint western Arun area committee after Pagham resident Tim Wright had urged councillors to act.

Mr Wright said: “People in Pagham are scared stiff because they can’t get insurance for their properties.

“Behind West Front Road, there has been 15ft of beach lost. The remaining beach is well below the cut -off point when the council said they were going to act and they have not done that.

“I can’t believe engineers can’t solve the problem. The reason there’s a problem is nothing to do with local councillors. It’s to do with central government.

“You have to get together to put some pressure on the Environment Agency to put an awful lot of pressure on Westminster to get them to act.”

Cllr Michael Coleman said: “We have been doing exactly what you have asked for a very long time. It seems to take an inordinate amount of time to get anything done.”

Cllr Paul Wells said the erosion was serious: “Properties are really at risk at the moment.

“This is people’s livelihoods at stake here and action needs to be taken.”