A FINAL push is being made to raise a quarter-of-a-million pounds to help to save Pagham Beach.
Campaigners have succeeded in collecting pledges worth almost £200,000 towards the cost of the work.
But a further £50,000 is needed in the next two weeks to show the community can put enough towards the expensive scheme. Several people made their pledges at Sunday’s Pagham on Parade where the Pagham Action Group had a large display.
Chairman David Huntley said: “We’re grateful for everyone’s help. We just need the final donations now. It would be good to have more businesses backing us. They are as much at risk as people’s homes.”
Formal planning permission to carry out the work – to cut the growing Church Norton Spit which is distorting Pagham Harbour’s mouth – would be submitted to Arun District Council next week, he said.
“Our consultants are still talking to Natural England and the Environment Agency and the plans are subject to their approval,” said Mr Huntley, who is also a Pagham parish councillor.
“It will take about 12 weeks to get through planning. Hopefully, we will be about to start work around November. Meanwhile, we have to pray for a mild winter.”
The spit is forcing the tides to erode the beach and put properties at risk. Cutting through the spit will restore the harbour mouth.
“People want to know why it wasn’t done years ago,” said Mr Huntley.
The action group held a raffle, guess the weight of the cake competition and Pagham postcard sales to raise money on Sunday.
One of the group’s backers was Morris 8 exhibitor Shirley Dobbs with a Save our Beach poster on its windscreen.
Mrs Dobbs, of Ledra Drive, said: “It’s important to save the houses on the beach. I feel sorry for the people who have them. We’ve been here for more than 30 years and the beach was never like it is now.
“We’ve watched it change over the years. The answer is to cut through the spit.And, if we can’t get enough money, we should get some shovels and do it ourselves.”
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