Emergency meeting on Pagham Beach future

AN URGENT meeting is to be held soon about the future of Pagham Beach.

The emergency session of the coastal issues group will see bodies such as Arun District Council, the Environment Agency and Natural England discuss how to tackle the serious erosion along the foreshore.

Pagham Parish Council chairman Ray Radmall will also be present.

He said: “We have now obviously got to a situation where the repeated erosion we have experienced in the past few weeks is much more than they thought would happen.”

Cllr Radmall said residents wanted to see a channel cut in the growing Church Norton Spit to remove the tides which had been scouring the foreshore.

But the Environment Agency had told him they would object because of the area’s strict environmental rules.

This would lead to three years of wrangling in the European courts.

The only other option would be to persuade the British government that action was needed as a last resort to override the interests of wildlife.

“I don’t know how serious the government would see this situation,” said Cllr Radmall.

“But, clearly, it is very threatening and we can’t go much longer with this happening.”

Creating and keeping a channel in the spit would cost £1.3m.

Pagham’s county councillor, Tony Sutcliffe, said more work was needed on the beach. “What’s been done is a sticking plaster. More than £1m has been spent so far on sea defences but not satisfactorily.

“The whole thing needs to be looked at in a holistic manner and not piecemeal,” he said.

“The Pagham Harbour has moved and I would like to see it put back to where it was. That would solve the problem immediately.”