LETTER: ‘The obvious’ is yet to be done on beach

People on Pagham Beach last week received a letter stating that replenishment of the shingle in front of the weak area in front of Pagham Yacht Club will begin on March 21.

The whole frontage at Pagham Beach and now easterly parts of Aldwick are suffering erosion due to the shingle spit that is growing in front of Pagham Beach from the harbour mouth.

An application for planning to cut this spit and block the offending scour channel has been lodged with Arun and Chichester district councils since before Christmas.

It is still being deliberated on and now we hear that the decision on the application is going to be delayed from March 24 until May.

Meanwhile, the erosion is continuing apace and more and more homes are being affected. The problems associated with the spit growth have been quite evident since 2002, following the decision taken by the Environment Agency not to continue management of the harbour entrance.

Since then, the spit has been allowed to grow unchecked.

When it became clear that its growth would have a detrimental effect to the beach, one would have thought that the EA would have realised their mistake and reversed the process.

Instead Natural England were allowed to run rampant and ‘discover’ all manner of life forms and place the area under increased conservation protection so that nothing could be done.

ADC for their part have made all manner of frankly insane sticking-plaster reparations to the beach at great expense and yet no one seems prepared to do the obvious and stop the scour current – this being the purpose of the planning proposal.

It would seem that now, after consultation with the EA, and NE as well as other bodies, the buck would seem to lie with ADC.

Why therefore are they taking so long to decide on what is so clearly a no-brainer? Way back in April, 2010, the dredger, Sospan-Dau, recharged the shingle at the Pagham yacht club costing £600k. It lasted about a week until the next storm, when half of it got swept away again.

Since then there have been a number of other similar attempts. Last Wednesday evening we also heard the usual crashing of rocks in another attempt to repair groyne 3 after the last lot of storms. The beach is vulnerable to attack because there is now little of it left in front of the properties.

Remove the East-West scour current and you remove the problem.

We hear that ADC should be progressing the planning application and that there is still some need for dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘T’s. Why cannot anyone do the obvious and get on with it?

Allen Miller

West Front Road