Storms cause more erosion at Pagham

From left: Robin Henderson, Nick Gibb, Chris Dodd and Ray Radmall at the temporary defences on Pagham beach
From left: Robin Henderson, Nick Gibb, Chris Dodd and Ray Radmall at the temporary defences on Pagham beach

SEVERE erosion on Pagham Beach has left the area in a critical condition.

Pagham parish councillors were told on Tuesday a glut of winter storms had swept away more than 40 per cent of the foreshore in one place.

Robin Henderson, the chairman of the Pagham Flood Defence Trust sub-group, said: “This is becoming extremely serious for everyone. The situation is like a patient on life support. After a certain stage, it is not recoverable.”

The amount of extreme weather in the past three months had begun to see the erosion of the foreshore move from Pagham Yacht Club towards Aldwick.

“Since early December, we have lost 9m of beach out of 21m. That’s about 42 per cent,” he said.

“Behind East Front Road there’s a big drop down towards the rest of Pagham. We have obviously got some big problems.”

The erosion is caused by the strong tides out of Pagham Harbour which are being forced against the beach by the ever-growing Church Norton Spit

Pagham Parish Council has submitted ambitious plans to cut a channel in the spit to remove its influence.

But the 548 page application is yet to be considered by Arun District Council. Mr Henderson said progress was being made slowly. He hoped the proposal would be decided by Arun on March 30.

Pagham Parish Council chairman Cllr Ray Radmall said the situation was frustrating. MP Nick Gibb was holding frequent meetings with top officials of bodies like Natural England to press Pagham’s case.

But the extra work required was likely to push the total bill for creating the channel to £1m. He warned about half of this was still likely to be needed in the next 3-4 months.

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