South coast may change significantly in the next five to 20 years
South coast cruising grounds from Pagham to East Head may change significantly in the next five to 20 years unless coastal defences are bolstered.
Sailors who enjoy the area including Chichester and Pagham harbours have until the end of March to take part in a consultation process which could influence the way the coast is managed.
The problem faced by Chichester and Arun district councils, who are working with the Environment Agency, is the lack of funding available to maintain the coast – it could cost tens of millions of pounds to keep things as they are and the money is not available from central government.
So some of the consultation document’s ideas include the cheaper options of simply letting certain coastal defences crumble under the onslaught from the sea – which is what could happen to Selsey Bill.
At Medmerry and West Wittering the preferred option is to realign the coast with flood defences, but this will almost certainly see changes to the beaches. Work is most urgent at Medmerry where the existing sea defences may only last another year. Other areas on the stretch may disintegrate in anything from five to 15 years.
The consultation document is available to download in PDF format from the Environment Agency website at:
Alternatively it is available from the Environment Agency, Saxon House, Little High Street, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1DH.
Views on the document’s ideas should be sent to the address above or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 March.