Project to protect beaches underway

Work takes place on Eastbourne beach
Work takes place on Eastbourne beach

A £4 MILLION project to protect Eastbourne’s beaches is well underway.

A fleet of trucks and diggers has been tearing up Eastbourne’s beach as residents look on from the promenades.

Since the end of January 270,000 cubic metres of shingle has been poured onto parts of the seafront where levels are critically low and flooding is a risk.

The Environment Agency is paying for the work.

Eastbourne Borough Council cabinet member for environment, councillor Steve Wallis said, “This is good news for the residents of Eastbourne. “These important works will ensure our entire coastline is as fully protected as possible and we will continue to have beautiful beaches for people to enjoy.”

Huge craters have been left in the beach as 70,000 cubic metres of shingle is redistributed from overflowing beaches and 200,000 cubic metres is scattered across the beach.

Shingle is dredged from Owers Bank six miles offshore from Littlehampton and pumped ashore by a temporary floating pipeline 1km from Eastbourne.

Information from the council’s website says work carried out by Pevensey Coastal Defence is moving from west to east to keep beach closures to a minimum.

But 63-year-old Jeff Klepper said when he was taking a stroll along the seafront last weekend it appeared most of the beach had been cordoned off.

Retired Mr Klepper of Trinity Trees, said, “It seems such a shame for families that the beach is closed, especially with half-term coming up. “I accept the work has got to be done but if the weather is like it was this weekend it will be such a shame for families here on holiday.”

Borough council cabinet member for tourism, Neil Stanley said, “Let’s hope it will all seem worthwhile in time for the summer. Unfortunately these things have to be done.”

Not enough shingle is being brought ashore by the sea to naturally sustain the beach and Eastbourne can only be maintained by replacing the shingle which drifts eastward along the coast.

The work could take up to eight weeks to complete.