July 2007 Comments – Selsey Sea Wall

Two pictures of yet another crisis in a coastal community. As can be seen the sea wall at Selsey has collapsed and created app. 40 metre gap.

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Obviously this needs repair as a matter of urgency. However I fear the financial problems will prove greater than the technical problems to overcome.

With Central Government effectively walking away from the coast how on earth will this or indeed any other Maritime Authority in a similar situation be able to cope financially.

The longer remedial action takes the worse (and more expensive) the solution will be. Unfortunately those with absolute responsibility, DEFRA, are busy trying to build a different kind of barrier. One which attempts to put not only the Maritime Authorities but now the Environment Agency between us (the problem) and them.

Typicaly British Civil Service, make the situation so complicated they can get away with doing nothing except talk about the problems for ever and dream up the most obscure ways forward. Anything except address the problem effectively at an early and cost effective stage.

It will be interesting to see what happens at Selsey against the backdrop of the upcoming second generation Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for this area and Central Government’s aversion to and perpetual underfunding of the coast.

Malcolm Kerby (22 July 2007)