The sea wall issues rises up once more

THANKS for giving the matter of the Selsey sea defences an airing.

The council has reverted to what they said to me around 12 years ago, when I first raised the matter.

Many letters and a few years passed.

Then I was told the council would give the landowner a date by which time the work must be done.

Failure to comply by the landowner would result in the council contracting out the work and recovering the cost through the courts, if need be.

That didn’t appear to work.

After more letters and more time, the senior coastal engineer for the council informed me that although the local authority didn’t own the land, it was the local authority that had built the sea wall (back in 1952) and because of that, the existing local authority (CDC) is responsible for its maintenance and repair. Progress!

The repairs to the top of the wall from James Street to Lifeboat Way were soon contracted out and completed by CDC. Success!

I understood at the time work on the sea wall by Lifeboat Way would commence within months.

It was in a bad way and was referred to as ‘unstable’ in one of the letters I had from the chief executive.

Indeed I was sent countless drawings involving the creation of a new and safer footpath and I’m not sure what else. However the work was never done.

That would be three or four years ago and the council has now gone back to the original position it held 12 years ago.

More delay in dealings with a landowner who has demonstrated he will not do the work will inevitably result in the breach getting bigger with each storm.

What is more, CDC has already admitted the responsibility and has done some of the work.

I seems to me the district council spokesman who spoke to you doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Of course that would make building a sea wall a bit awkward.

You’d need legs... and a bit of common sense. More delay, more cost and by the way there are folk living in houses built 12 years ago with full planning permission uncomfortably close to the danger.

Bob Moore