Government minister to visit Pagham’s shoreline

Environment minister Richard Benyon 130305M-A196
Environment minister Richard Benyon 130305M-A196

GOVERNMENT minister Richard Benyon is set to visit Pagham later this month.

The under-secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs will live up to his promise of touring the area’s coastline to see residents’ flooding concerns.

Mr Benyon told Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb in the House of Commons last Thursday he wanted to come to Pagham to find out the current situation.

“I am looking forward to meeting (Mr Gibb’s) constituents and to understanding the daily threats that they live with,” he said.

Mr Gibb stated: “We are looking forward to seeing him in my constituency in late April.”

Details for the visit on April 29, which was sought by Mr Gibb because of the fears of Pagham Beach residents about the risk from the sea, are still being worked out.

Erosion caused by the rapid growth of the Church Norton spit has scoured the foreshore so much that action is being taken by Arun District Council and the Environment Agency on a long-term plan to protect the properties. A rock revetment at the western end of West Front Road is the most likely solution, but the community could have to find £50,000 if its cost reaches £650,000. Arun is at the early stages of the work.

Pagham Parish Council chairman Ray Radmall said more than 300 homes in the area are at risk if the sea floods the low-lying estate.