Breach is cut in Pagham spit

“I had to pinch myself to believe that after all these years, the channel had finally been cut through the Pagham Spit.”

Those were the words of Bognor Regis MP Nick Gibb as he witnessed the water flowing out through a new channel on Saturday (November 6).

Over the course of the week from the previous Saturday when diggers made their way across to the spit work continued and by Thursday, with a bit of additional help from nature, the breach was completed.

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On Saturday Mr Gibb went to see the progress with Robin Henderson.

Alastair Tindle (consulting engineer), Nick Gibb, and Robin Henderson as work started

As it was a spring high tide they were able to watch the water flow out through the breach as the tide went out.

“It was clear that the route the water was taking has changed which in time will help to protect the shingle on the Pagham shore,” he said.

They watched a bulldozer smoothing out the mountain of shingle that had been excavated from the newly dug channel.

Nick Gibb said: “ I had to pinch myself to believe that after all these years, the channel had finally been cut through the Pagham Spit.

The breach in the spit

“Finally we could be confident that measures were being taken to help protect people’s homes from the coastal erosion driven by the scouring caused by the spit.

“With Robin Henderson I saw first hand how the tidal water receding from Pagham Harbour, as high tide reached its peak and began to turn, was flowing out through the breach in the spit.

“This was the outcome local residents and campaigners such as Robin Henderson and the late Ray Radmall predicted would happen.

“I wish Ray could have been there on Saturday to witness this remarkable achievement.

A distant Phil Barber, the geomorphologist on the project, monitoring the effect of the breach

“And thank you again to Robin Henderson and to key officials at Arun and Chichester District Councils and the Marine Management Organisation, to James Seymour at Natural England, Peter Atkins of the Pagham Flood Defence Trust and, of course, to all the local residents and Bourne Leisure, who contributed to the cost of the project.”

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