More work to keep Pagham’s eroded beach seats safe

EMERGENCY safety work is being carried out on an eroded beach.

Pagham Parish Council chairman Ray Radmall is joining other volunteers to install the extra measures to stop visitors being injured on a damaged area of foreshore.

The public seats and concrete base in front of Pagham Yacht Club has started to be ripped apart by the winter storms, as reported.

Some fencing and warning signs have been put up.

But councillors at Tuesday’s parish council meeting said they had seen adults and children ignoring the dangers.

Cllr Radmall said he feared the problem could become worse after predicted stormy weather this weekend.

“We don’t know what is going to happen this weekend. We are going to be faced with some difficult tides and the forecasts are not looking too good.”

He said he intended to install extra fencing around the area and putting in large bags filled with shingle to try to deflect the waves.

He had met Arun’s principal engineer, Roger Spencer, who had ordered large machinery onto the beach next week to carry out further work.

But Cllr Radmall warned all the measures were stop-gaps.

“It’s a case of marking time and struggling through this winter until we can, hopefully, get the big job done,” he said.

This is the council’s preferred long-term solution of creating a channel in the Church Norton Spit to restore the mouth of Pagham Harbour and end the tides which are scouring the beach.

He has told the area’s MP, Nick Gibb, a report about the matter by civil servants for the government’s environment secretary, Elizabeth Truss, was flawed.

It failed to acknowledge the breach of the spit was the only viable option. Among its omissions was the total destruction of the public seats as the erosion spread to the Aldwick boundary.

“The shingle replenishment along a 250m length at the yacht club, 22 dredger loads, carried out in 2010 had all but been swept away by late 2013. Erosion is now well advanced beyond that 2009/10 need for action,” he said.

The adaptive management plan for the foreshore brought in a few years ago had failed, he said.

Members of Aldwick Parish Council have unanimously backed efforts by their neighbours to provide protection from the sea.

The Aldwick councillors sent a letter to Mr Gibb in support of Pagham Parish Council’s plans to split the Church Norton Spit to stop the threat to seafront homes.

They agreed at a meeting last week to show their backing.

The letter from Sue Batey, Aldwick Parish Council’s clerk, stated its support in principle for the following: “To support the endeavours of our neighbours at Pagham Parish Council to promote an ‘engineered’ breach of the spit to return the harbour entrance to its pre-2003 position, thereby releasing significant quantities of shingle to replenish losses and secure a sustainable standard of protection.”