Just in time repairs
29.01.12 – repairs to the beach at Solent Way, Selsey (nr Selsey Bill) have been funded and carried out in the nick of time. A first tranche of the “Beach Management Plan (BMP)” funding (the full amount to be confirmed on 8th February) was released to Chichester DC, allowing the Council to repair the gabions (= rock-filled wire cages) that protect this otherwise open stretch of beach from erosion. Erosion had reached the edge of the coastal path here, and was within a few tens of metres of houses.
The gabions, which had broken open over time, have been refilled with rock and re-sealed. The beach has also been “reprofiled” (the shingle on it has been spread more evenly, including the base of the gabions – which are then less vulnerable to wave attack).
When the gabions reach the end of their useful life, and repairs are not longer economic, capital funding will be needed to replace them. The BMP funds are for maintenance – not capital – works. The government now expects “local contributions” towards capital works, especially for erosion prevention schemes. Without local financial contributions there is usually no government financial help.
The Selsey community has formed a Coastal Trust (a community enterprise) which wants to undertake some regeneration projects that generate income, which will be used to lever-in government capital funding for Selsey’s coast defences. MPSG supports this initiative as it is clear that local funding will be necessary when, sadly but inevitably, coastal defences need replacing.