Selsey holiday park funds sea defences

A holiday park in Selsey has put forward plans to make changes to its sea defence works.

Bunn Leisure is privately funding a £15m scheme at West Sands Caravan Park to protect its business and the west side of Selsey.

The original plans were granted planning permission in 2009 but Bunn wants to change the type of rock, profiling and footprint of the breakwaters, as well as change the source of shingle for a beach recharge.

It also will make minor changes to construction and programme for the planned works.

It has done this to match the works that will be carried out by the Environment Agency (EA) for the nearby Medmerry realignment scheme.

Mike Caven, operations director at Bunn Leisure, said: “We are working very closely with the EA and tweaking our plans to make sure both our schemes go together. It is joined-up thinking.”

It is believed Bunn’s scheme is the first privately-funded sea defence scheme in the UK.

Mr Caven added: “We’ve been working with the EA for the last two years to protect the business and protect the jobs.”

Construction of the sea defences at West Sands has been delayed to ensure it is parallel with the permitted Medmerry realignment scheme.

This scheme involves moving the sea coast boundaries further inland to create a unique marsh land space for habitats while at the same time protecting homes from being flooded in the future. It forms part of the EA’s Pagham to East Head coastal defence strategy.

Selsey councillor and sea defence campaigner Roland O’Brien said: “Thank goodness Bunn Leisure can and will invest in this new coastal defence.

“Apart from protecting the caravan park, the works also protect a large section of the western part of the town from coastal flooding.

“And from what I’ve seen of the plans, the new defence will enhance Selsey’s coastline, for visitors and residents alike.”

To view the plans quote the planning application reference number SY/09/01894/FUL