FENCING along Felpham seafront has ripped the social heart out of the area, councillors have been told.
Resident Lyn Jones said the installation of the metalwork in front of the western greensward by Arun District Council was opposed by a lot of people.
She said at Wednesday’s full council meeting: “We request the removal of the barriers around the Felpham beach huts and we are asking for an assurance that no similar structure would be erected without full and lawful consultation with the public.
“The fences were erected without any consultation with the public or parish council. They restrict free access by the public to a much-loved, much-used public space.
“They restrict free access to the memorial benches in memory of people who either sat at that spot or people’s loved ones.
“They restrict free access to people with limited mobility and give the public the impression the area is private.”
The fencing also stopped people sitting on the boundary wall of the greensward next to Blakes Road to enjoy the view of the beach and sea, Mrs Jones said.
Cllr Matt Stanley, Arun’s cabinet member for technical services, said the fencing was installed after numerous complaints had been received about dog waste on the greensward.
“It is worth noting that traces of dog waste have been identified by laboratory analysis in the water nearby.
“Since the fences have been in place, cleansing officers have reported a noticeable reduction in dog waste around the greensward,” he said.
But he stated he understood the residents’ frustration about the lack of consultation before the fencing was put in. Cllr Stanley added he was happy to accept Mrs Jones’s call for talks to try to resolve the matter.