On behalf of my council and the community at Pagham, I wish to thank the Observer and Kevin Smith for his recent coverage in respect of the silly situation we face in Pagham.
It is a tragedy for many of us who moved to Pagham as conservation enthusiasts to find the nature reserve has become the most serious encumbrance to cost-effective and sustainable sea defence for the community.
The sensible and logical solution for the community was put forward by our district council engineers in 2007, and tentatively proposed again in 2009 by the Environment Agency, (viz. recut the harbour mouth and eliminate the scour currents.)
The government quango Natural England has opposed it each time. This ‘system intervention solution’ has been recently identified and recommended once more by two expert consultants.
The Marine Conservation Zone currently being proposed by that quango, and eagerly endorsed by our county council, will provide by law for an even higher standard of conservation constraint over a broad spectrum of ‘incompatible’ processes and activities within a wide geographical radius.
The outrage among local folk is entirely understandable. The nature reserve has lost the support of this community.
Local views have been excluded from the ‘closed shop’ discussions and so-called ‘consultation’ relating to this proposal.
The final insult is people’s views have been subordinated to 20 minute snails found in 2007 (of which ten were dead).
The question arises, bearing in mind the high mortality, whether any are still there! Fortunately we are at last making an impact.
Many people have been in correspondence at high level, and the prejudicial nonsense currently prevailing has been communicated to government.
The coalition government’s commitment to ‘localism’ should ensure people in Pagham do not
become an endangered species.
Our MP is on the case.
Pagham Parish Council,
The Village Hall,