‘Action needed’ to manage shingle build-up on Arun’s beaches after storms

Councillors have welcomed funding which could help manage shingle build-up along the district’s beaches.

Members of Arun District Council’s environment committee heard that an extra £40,000 will be included in the budget for 2022-23 to help manage shingle.

At a meeting on Thursday (January 20), officers confirmed that the money would be used to move shingle in Littlehampton.

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Similar funding could also be available for a further four years as the work is considered ‘essential to prevent coastal flooding’.

Shingle build-up in Felpham in February 2020

Paul English (Con) welcomed the news but asked if funding would be available to manage the shingle beaches in his Felpham East ward.

Footpaths along Felpham beach have been known to become covered in shingle after storms – something Mr English described as ‘literal mountains of shingle’.

Council officers said the £40,000 was specifically intended to assist the Littlehampton Harbour Board (LHB) with moving shingle from West Beach and redistributing it along the coast.

This would both ‘reduce the risk of navigation hazards in the river’ and ‘prevent failure of the Westworks structure’.

Mr English said that more help was needed because ‘it took a long time to get the seafront into operation again in Middleton and Felpham after a storm’.

Officers confirmed that, although the £40,000 wasn’t for Felpham, £37,000 would be available in the 2022-23 financial year for foreshore maintenance.

Steve Goodheart (Arun Ind, Hotham) welcomed the news, saying: “Councillor English hit the nail on the head in regards to shingle movement and I’m really pleased to hear that there are contingency plans to have it removed.”

Environment committee members have also asked the policy and finance committee to approve a £180,000 contribution to the Community Flood Fund.

All of the budget items will have to gain final approval at the full council meeting in February.