DIGGERS have been out on Climping beach, bolstering sea defences.
But the future of the village’s seafront remains unclear ahead of a consultation later this year on what sort of sea defences the Environment Agency may be able to provide.
Five years ago the Environment Agency (EA) shocked Climping residents by announcing draft plans to stop looking after the groynes and shingle bank protecting homes, businesses including the up-market Bailiffcrourt Hotel and farmland.
The full impact of the strategy was due to come into force this year, with maintenance work ceasing as a policy of ‘do nothing’ was implemented by the EA.
However, with bulldozers continuing to shore up the shingle on Climping beach in the wake of the storms and huge waves which have battered the coast this winter, the agency is maintaining the sea defences – for now.
Climping Parish Council chairman Terry Hockley welcomed the recent work taking place on the sea defences and the plans to maintain them for the time being.
He admitted that the village had been living under a cloud since the agency, in partnership with Arun District Council, first revealed in summer, 2009, its plans to let nature, and the sea, take their course.
“It’s been terrible. People here are very fond of the beach and it would be a crime if it was to be eroded as a result of the defences no longer being maintained,” he said.
However, Andrew Gilham, flood and coastal risk manager for the EA, said it remained ‘economically challenging’ to invest in new sea defences once the current protections come to the end of their life.
For the full story, read this week’s Littlehampton Gazette, out from Thursday, February 20.