Warning issued over future of Birling Gap

Birling Gap
Birling Gap

POPULAR beauty spot Birling Gap could disappear into the sea within 15 years.

A Government study released by the Environment Agency (EA) predicts that some parts of the Sussex coast could have receded by as much as 20 metres by 2025.

And that includes Birling Gap, which has already been significantly worn away by the sea in recent years.

The Eastbourne coastline has yet to be assessed by the EA, but similar stretches in nearby Newhaven have been listed as in danger in the recent study.

Dozens of properties have also been labelled as being at risk of flooding as the Government begins to look more closely at the suitability of existing coastal defences.

The Coalition has promised to spend upwards of £2billion protecting seaside communities from erosion and flooding, but any action will be too late for some of the people who have already lost homes in the Birling Gap area.

Norman Baker MP, who represents much of the endangered coast, said he would be look to work with the EA to make sure all that could be done to prevent the decay of land would be done.

He said, “The climate change chickens are coming home to roost.

“We have already seen cottage after cottage in Birling Gap go into the sea.

“There has always been erosion but it has now accelerated.”

He will no doubt be looking to hear more from the Government’s environment minister, Richard Benyon, who said the Coalition was committing substantial funds to fighting the problem but that, “we can’t defend every single section of cliff or beach.”