LETTER: Beach erosion

I REFER to your article, ‘Final effort to reach beach funding target’, on page 6 of August 20 edition.

Prodigious efforts continue in order to provide the funds to carry out the proposed ‘community scheme’ to manage the harbour mouth, eliminate the erosion scour, and release huge quantities of shingle to longshore drift (ie beach replenishment).

It is acknowledged by our consultants that there is no viable alternative, as sooner or later, ADC, as erosion management authority, will be unable to continue when necessary ‘works’ can no longer be funded.

The 22 dredger loads provided at a cost of £625K in 2010 had all been swept away in three years. Erosion has been far more severe than EA predictions. Accelerating costs as ever more shingle disappears make the future unpredictable and worrying.

Having said that, ADC have some cash reserves in hand in order to assist with temporary measures this winter.

A further 250 tons of rock have been reserved for collection. This is fortunate, as there has been some delay in completing the necessary consultants’ work to present for formal planning consent. That submission now runs to more than 300 pages as the detail required by Natural England has been formidable.

The complete process for implementation involves: Marine Management Organisation, EA Project Appraisal Board, Chichester District Council Planning Dept. ADC cabinet approval and a formal contractual tendering process. Even this is not an exclusive list.

All these formalities will serve to delay any prospect of implementation until well into 2016.

We have good political support for the ‘community scheme’, which is predicted to prove far cheaper and more achievable than ‘beach management’ under the current ‘adaptive management’ policy.

In the meantime we must rely upon ADC to cope with this winter, and if necessary call upon our own local contractor to assist once more.

Ray Radmall


Pagham Parish Council