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New plans to save Pagham

FRESH plans to keep Pagham safe are set to be submitted.


Residents of the flood-threatened area have joined with experts to devise new coast protection proposals.


Their latest scheme – set to initially cost more than £200,000 – involves installing three groynes along the most vulnerable stretch of coastline.


Pagham Parish Council chairman Cllr Ray Radmall said: “We need to look seriously at this matter again.


“During Storm Eleanor last month, the sea came within five metres of some of the bungalows along East Front Road. The limit for emergency action is 10m, so it was well within that.


“Some of the water ran between the bungalows and into the road behind. We can’t let incidents like that happen again.


“There is real consternation in the area about this threat. We are getting a significant quantity of letters, phone calls and emails at the parish council asking us to install groynes along the beach to provide a long-term solution to this problem.


“If we get this scheme approved, we would want to start work this summer. We don’t want to be going through another winter like this one again.”


The planning application to carry out the work is on the verge of being submitted by Pagham Beach Holdings, which owns the Pagham Beach estate, to Arun District Council.


The decision to go ahead was agreed at a meeting of the revived Pagham flood defence steering group, which is a sub-committee of the parish council.


The community already has one scheme which has been approved by Arun. That is to cut a channel in the offshore Church Norton Spit, which had been forcing tides in and out of the Pagham Harbour mouth on to the beach to scour away the shingle for several years.


But Cllr Radmall said the spit was constantly evolving to make it harder than originally thought to cut the channel and protect it with pebble walls.


This left groynes along the East Front Road coastline as the best solution, he claimed.


These would be hard wooden stub groynes about 15-20m long and bolstered on their south-western side by small rock buttresses to protect them from the prevailing tides.


The fantail design of the buttresses would enable the waves to be deflected harmlessly along the side of the groynes, said Cllr Radmall.


“We have got the designs already. It’s just a case of getting the final details for the application and the supporting information,” he said.


Cllr Radmall hoped in time to increase the number of groynes to five and then to eight when further funding became available.


This would enable all the East Front Road frontage to be protected and some of West Front Road.


The money to pay for the first groynes was likely to come from the parish council’s flood protection fund, which it has built up from council tax from residents.


But it would be seeking further help from the area’s businesses and the government, he added, towards the cost of the additional groynes.

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