SIX homes along Pagham Beach have less than ten metres of shingle between them and the sea.
Half of the 103 properties surveyed by Pagham Beach Residents’ Association earlier this week had less than 20m left.
And 75 per cent had 25m or less. The alarming facts were given at Pagham’s annual electors’ meeting on Tuesday.
Residents’ association chairman David Huntley, who is also a parish councillor, said: “The present policy of shovelling shingle on to the beach and putting rocks in front of houses is not going to work.”
One of Pagham’s residents on the front line of the beach erosion told the Observer homes could be taken by the sea at any time. Elizabeth Bell, of West Front Road, said: “It’s absolutely terrifying. You can’t take your eyes off the sea. It’s consantly changing.
“You cannot believe how quickly it happens.
“It’s the fact the beach could go overnight if the wind is in the wrong direction and there’s a high tide.” She has owned her seafront property for five years but has known the area all her life. She said her property was not among the worst affected.
“It’s absolutely terrifying if you are in one of those,” she said, adding, if the beach was eroded, more than a few bungalows on the Pagham Beach estate would be at risk.
“The beach is the highest point of the area. Once that has gone, there is nothing to stop the water going inland.
“It could affect a lot of Pagham and the wider area such as Runcton, North Mundham and Sidlesham.
“Spending money on protecting Pagham Beach is not just a case of looking after a few homes.” She added it was frustrating the ‘sensible solution’ of cutting a channel through the spit and restoring the harbour mouth was delayed. Arun District Council is carrying out repairs until a permanent solution can be found.
“While it’s fantastic Arun are putting the shingle back, and protecting the properties, it’s bleeding money from being spent on solving the problem.”