Yacht club’s wall collpases into River Arun

The wall protecting Arun Yacht Club has collapsed SUS-151221-145755001
The wall protecting Arun Yacht Club has collapsed SUS-151221-145755001

A LARGE concrete wall protecting a yacht club’s land on the west bank of the River Arun has collapsed.

The structure, on the banks of Arun Yacht Club, was reported to be leaning in recent weeks but has now completely tumbled over.

The wall protecting Arun Yacht Club has collapsed SUS-151221-145745001

The wall protecting Arun Yacht Club has collapsed SUS-151221-145745001

Contractors have been called to inspect the damage.

Yacht club commodore Stuart Fairweather said: “It is not part of the West Bank flodd defences at all. The wall was purely about retaining the yacht club’s land.

“There is absolutely no flood risk at all. The only risk is to members’ dinghies which are in the pen.”

Councillor Ian Buckland, who sits on the town, borough and county councils, has held long-standing concerns about the wall.

He believes the new £22million flood defences on the east bank have had knock-on effects on river flows and, subsequently, the west bank.

But the Environment Agency has advised the east bank scheme would have ‘very little impact’.

Mr Buckland said: “Whatever it is that is causing these changes it is starting to have a detrimental effect on the west bank and needs to be addressed with urgency.

“It needs to be addressed as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency confirmed the structure was not its responsibility.

But the agency did offer technical advice and support to the yacht club in May to dicuss concerns about the wall.

The spokesman said: “There is no increase in flood risk as a result of the collapse of this erosion control wall. The structure shown in the photos is not an Environment Agency flood defence, as it was constructed approximately two years ago by Arun Yacht Club, with the primary function of reducing the erosion to their property.

“In May this year we had a meeting with Arun Yacht Club and Royal Yachting Association to discuss their wall and slipway. We have offered technical support and advice to the club to help resolve their issues at this location.

“Our designers advised us that the construction of the Littlehampton Arun East Bank scheme will have very little impact on the flows of the River Arun through Littlehampton.”