WORK has begun to protect Pagham’s beach.
Contractors for Arun District Council started to build a long-awaited rock revetment to halt the erosion of the shore at the western end of West Front Road.
The activity after the first load of rocks arrived last Friday has been welcomed by those who have called for action as the waves came to within 10m of the most exposed bungalows.
A district council spokeswoman said: “More than 4,000 tons of rocks arrived from Norway on Friday. The next load, from Cornwall, should be arriving tomorrow night or Saturday morning.
“The construction of the revetment has started and all stops are being pulled out to complete it on time.”
The revetment will be 170m long, and curved at both ends, to protect the most vulnerable 120m of shoreline at a cost of some £550,000.
Pagham Parish Council, has campaigned for the work. Parish council chairman Ray Radmall said: “There have been a few delays dealing with the conservation consents which were needed.
“But we are grateful for these necessary emergency works.
“There’s no question the community and the parish council appreciate the scheme is progressing at last, though it will only serve to protect the last 16 homes on West Front Road.”
County councillor Tony Sutcliffe (UKIP, Nyetimber) said: “I hope this revetment is going to work.
“It seems to be me to be a sticking plaster solution.
“I still think the best action would be to breach the Church Norton Spit which is causing the problem. But the rock is a portable defence. It can be moved around if it is needed elsewhere.”
n Pagham Parish Council is also working hard to ensure the flooding threat from elsewhere is countered.
Cllr Ray Radmall said it was keeping a keen eye on the progress of works to rebuild the inner embankments of Pagham Harbour to remove the threat of flooding from high tides in stormy weather.
It would seek as well to get a new agreement with the Environment Agency about the use of Pagham Rife for Chichester’s flood relief if more houses were built surrounding the city.