Beach works at West Wittering given thumbs up

Chichester District Council has approved its own plans to use up to 3,000 tonnes of shingle and sand to bank up part of a beach in West Wittering.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 11:42 pm

The application, for an area at the East Head car park, was given the nod by members of the planning committee on Wednesday (November 3).

The shingle will form a low bank – or bund – behind the beach and around The Hinge.

The work falls in line with the Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy, which the council adopted in 2009, and aims to prevent the sea from cutting off access to East Head Spit.

The shingle will be excavated from the north end of East Head – about 900m from where the bund will be built – and transported to the site in two 14-tonne dumper trucks.

It will mean the loss of the car park – 20 spaces – though visitors will still be able to park on the grassed land to the north of the site.

Graeme Barrett (Con, The Witterings) told the meeting the number was ‘insignificant’ and the sea was already undercutting part of the car park anyway.

Supporting the application, he warned that, if the bund was not put in place, the sea would get behind the East Head to Snowhill sea wall and flood the salt marsh.

Mr Barrett also pointed out that the sewage pumping station, which serves West Wittering, was just up the road and, if that flooded, the whole village would feel the impact.

He added: “If the bund is not put in place, you put properties and the pumping station at serious risk.”

The meeting was told that measures would be taken to protect three dunes as well as wintering and nesting birds.

No work will be allowed during the March to August nesting season, while National Trust rangers will be given a watching brief to make sure any winter work did not affect birds.

To view the application, log on to publicaccess.chichester.gov.uk/online-applications and search for 21/02102/FUL.