Climping Beach will be too expensive to maintain 'at some point in the future' Environment Agency says after sea wall collapse

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An Environment Agency spokesperson has said officers are working hard to maintain Climping’s sea defences for as long as possible, but there will come a point where doing so proves too expensive.

The update comes after the beaches sea wall collapsed last weekend, leading to reports of serious flooding on the beach and surrounding area.

“We are using available funds to make Climping beach as resilient as possible. We’ve recently moved shingle to bolster flood defences, and thanks to a local landowner, we have used a further 4,000 tonnes to protect the car park, land and homes,” the spokesperson continued.

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“The Environment Agency will maintain Climping’s defences for as long as we can, whilst acknowledging that, at some point in the future, the costs of maintaining the beach will exceed what we can justify spending under government rules.

The sea wall collapsed last weekend. Photo: Eddie Mitchell.The sea wall collapsed last weekend. Photo: Eddie Mitchell.
The sea wall collapsed last weekend. Photo: Eddie Mitchell.

"We are working closely with the community to look at ways to reduce the risk of flooding in the most effective way we can.”

This week, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Nick Gibb spoke of his determination to save homes and businesses in Climping.

He said, following a visit there last week: “On Tuesday, I saw first hand the devastation to Climping Beach as a result of the the recent storms. This is on top of the erosion of the beach that has already occurred in recent years.

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“I will be arranging a meeting with the Environment Agency, local residents and Climping Parish Council to seek further action, following the series of meetings that have been held over the last year.

“We have to do everything we can to protect people’s homes.”

This latest update coincides with what former Arun District Council leader Shaun Gunner (Con) had to say following a visit to the beachhead last week: “"The bund there was ruined, the car park gone and the beach overwhelmed. The beach is unstable and unsafe with iron works sticking out and there is, in fact, nowhere to park,” he said, adding that the situation is “worrying”.

"The Environment Agency are valiantly working to rebuild the bund but it is difficult to see - without a multi-million pound injection of cash - how the current line can be held.”