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February 10 2014.

Norman Baker release:

Seaford Beach has been repeatedly hit hard by recent storm surges and large waves that have shifted a large amount of the shingle that usually absorbs the majority of the sea’s power. This has reached the point where the old sea wall and wooden groynes are now exposed.

The Environment Agency has previously stated that it will be engaging with residents of Seaford when exploring options for the future. Seaford and Newhaven will be looked at jointly because local schemes will provide mutual benefit for each other. Newhaven, the EA argue, will protect Seaford from flooding from the potential over topping of the tidal banks to the north, whilst Seaford will protect Newhaven from a tidal breach of the defences along the beach.

The Environment Agency has also stated that it is aware of concerns at the community level over how the beach is managed. However, it has stated that the costs and benefits of alternative proposals are likely to make them prohibitive.

Norman has now written again to the Environment Agency insisting that the recent damage to the beach be properly considered in any coastal management plans in the future.

Norman says: “Fortunately, so far the stormy weather has caused little in the way of property damage or personal injury to my constituents in Seaford, but this looks more like luck than judgement. Nevertheless, I am very concerned by the rate that the stormy seas have eaten away at the beach, which is of course the primary flood defence for the town.

“Events like this are predicted to become more common because of climate change, and action must be taken to restore the strength of the beach.”