RE-ELECTED Pagham Parish Council chairman Cllr Ray Radmall has pledged to keep battling to protect the area.
Cllr Radmall was chosen unanimously at the local authority’s annual meeting to lead it for another year. He has occupied the role since spring 2005.
He told his fellow councillors he would maintain the council’s stance towards the large housing schemes proposed for three sites and the need to bolster its eroded beach.
“We have some massive responsibilities for sea defence issues and housing issues. I think things are progressing reasonably well for both. I hope we can get rid of at least two of the housing sites because the plans are extremely prejudical to wildlife.”
As reported, developers want to build hundreds of homes at Sefter Road, Hook Lane and south of Summer Lane.
“Our infrastructure couldn’t cope with that amount of development,” said Cllr Ray Radmall. “Our roads can’t cope now and we know the sewage system can’t cope. Our traffic infrastructure will be quite disastrious if we get this volume of traffic.
“We are very fortunate to have Pagham and Aldwick Greenfields Movement (Pagam). I’m very impressed with their applications, skills and dedication they are bringing to this fight against this volume of unsustainable housing being imposed upon us.”
For the coastline, Cllr Radmall said he was committed to getting the best result possible to protect the hundreds of properties vulnerable to flooding after the beach had become eroded by the tides washed on to it by the growth of the Church Norton Spit.
“In 2008, the Environment Agency stated there were 330 homes at risk. Of those, 300 were at Pagham and 30 at Sidlesham. A total of 3,000 houses were certainly at risk by the end of the century.
“We have to put pressure on the authorities to get something done to make sure our beach front and inner harbour are improved properly.”
Cllr Phil Hailey said the Pagham coastal issues group was making progress in its work. The group brought together groups such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and Arun and Chichester district councils.
“The group is going to issue a Pagham Beach Action Plan,” he said. “This will look at all the scenarios (for protecting the beach). It will look at shingle management and whether groynes are appropriate.
“There are no plans to put groynes in along the beach at this stage but the situation will be monitored and we will see how matters develop.
“Everybody is signed up to this, which is a good basis to get things started.
“Having all the authorities on board, then it makes it easier to take action as well as having the funding streams.”
Cllr David Huntley, who also represents the parish council on the action group, said he hopeful it would produce some meaningful action. This would be better than previous short-term actions of moving shingle around the beach.
Cllr Huntley was re-elected unopposed at the meeting as the council’s vice-chairman alongside Cllr Radmall.