What should we do about storm damaged Splash Point?

I refer to John Bailey’s letter last week about Splash Point ownership, and also the letter from Diane Crook about debris from Seaford beach.

Whatever the position regarding ownership, a statement has been made by some authority, namely to close the end groyne off with a picket fence, which I saw this morning.

Examining the groyne from the cliffs above, part of the surfacing has indeed been detached, but the wall itself onto the cove is still standing – for the moment. The public are now using the outfall groyne in large numbers to view the scene and the cliffs beyond.

This has changed the situation at Splash Point and the Environment Agency now need to look at the viability of the outfall groyne as a safe tourist spot, something in the past it has not really acted as with such numbers.

The condition of the end railings in particular, which prevent or impede access to the sloping part of the groyne need to be reviewed, I feel.

I know the Beach Group of Seaford Community Partnership has looked at ways this groyne could be improved as an amenity, but this has now become an urgent rather than a “useful” idea, now that the terminal groyne has been placed out-of-bounds.

Meanwhile the EA has returned to the old “shift and stack” formula to cover the promenade facing and eliminate “overtopping” of the waves as much as possible.

I understand from Jim Skinner that they are not proposing to import more shingle from off-shore in the future though. This begs the question, how on earth do the EA imagine that the limited amount of shingle available to extract at Tidemills will be enough to protect the whole length of the beach against the high spring tides forecast over the coming weeks, which are scheduled to reach 7.2m on more than one occasion, nearly a metre higher than the storm tide of 6.3m which struck on St Valentine’s Day?

So far all the shingle extracted seems to have been used west of the Salts to protect the Buckle and Boenningstedt Parade. None has been moved by lorry (at time of writing) further eastwards to build up the beach opposite the houses and flats bordering the promenade east of Dane Road. Why not?

And why was the opportunity not taken to clear the beach of all the dangerous storm debris washed up, rather than leave it all to be mixed up with the remaining shingle and pushed up the beach, where no doubt it will remain as a potential hazard to holidaymakers in the future?

As Norman Baker has taken a great deal of concern about the position at Splash Point, I have written to him today (Saturday) to pursue the matter of ownership of that area. I am still waiting an answer from Peter Amies of the EA to seven questions I addressed to him on the future of the beach, during the EA meeting with Seaford Town Council on February 11.

Bob Brown