AN AMBITIOUS scheme to save Pagham from flooding has been formally acknowledged.
The £850,000 proposal has been officially registered by Arun District Council.
The council’s planning officers have taken nearly three months to verify the intended works can become an official planning application of hundreds of pages of technical and environmental information.
Their decision has been met by an immediate wave of support by residents.
A total of 13 letters of backing for the works put forward by Pagham Parish Council was published by Arun before the application was publicised.
Martyn Hopwood, of Sea Lane, Pagham, was among the first to back the proposal. He wrote: “The beach at Pagham is the only defence against the sea and a breach of this defence would be a disaster for the community, affecting homes, shops and businesses.
“In the three years we have lived here, we have noted an acceleration in the erosion of the shingle from the beach.
“If the work proposed is not carried out soon, we fear that flooding – not only of homes but also the electrical sub-station and sewage pumping station – will have a costly and devastating effect on us and the wider community.”
Another supporter, East Front Road resident Rosie Tomsett, said: “I support the PPC application as cutting the spit is the only way to prevent the sea from eroding even more of the beach.
“The ‘experts’ cannot agree on what should be done. Hence, ten years of studies and reports.
“But I have lived in Pagham for nearly 70 years and have seen how the harbour flow changes over a long period.”
The parish council wants to undertaake a managed breach of the offshore Church Norton Spit and block the adjacent tidal inlet channel with a shingle barrier.
It intends to form a shingle island in Pagham Harbour after shingle is excavated from an adjacent area.
Bill Cooper, of its planning agent, states: “If the proposed project does not take place, then Pagham Beach will face an increased risk of coastal erosion and flooding.”
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