Barbed wire placed along the side of a public footpath is being investigated by the council after dog walkers raised concerns that it was a risk to public safety.
It is not yet clear who is responsible for the fence constructed on private land next to a section of coastal path on Prinsted Bay.
An Access Ranger from West Sussex County Council is due to look into the issue and Chichester Harbour Conservancy have been informed.
Resident Lindsay Jerome, who reported the fence last Sunday, said it was ‘lethal’ and that she hoped it was removed.
She said: “I can’t believe it, and everyone I’ve spoken to is up in arms about it because they can’t believe it.
“It’s how lethally dangerous it is. Anyone tripping up is going to be impaled on it because you can’t reach out and steady yourself on anything before you’re on top of it.”
She added that dogs or small children would be at risk, particularly if the grass surrounding the fence was allowed to grow over the first line of wire, hiding it from view.
Chichester district councillor Robert Hayes said that even if it was private land, he still felt that fencing should be done in such a way as to avoid risk to people using the footpath.
He added that a footpaths officer was due to formally assess the risk to walkers, but the question of enforcement on private land would also need to be examined.
He said: “As much as I would love to go down there with a pair of wire cutters, it’s not something I would condone.
“What I want to make sure is that people don’t get injured by it.”
Southbourne Parish Council, of which Cllr Hayes is also a member, are due to discuss the issue this evening.
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