Council leader backs
By Jenni DixonA COUNCIL leader has voiced his sympathy for a resident who is trying to protect his coastal hamlet from the North Sea.Peter Boggis began depositing 28,000 tonnes of inert waste material in front of cliffs at Easton Bavents, north of Southwold, in 2002, but was halted by Waveney District Council a year ago.
By Jenni Dixon
A COUNCIL leader has voiced his sympathy for a resident who is trying to protect his coastal hamlet from the North Sea.
Peter Boggis began depositing 28,000 tonnes of inert waste material in front of cliffs at Easton Bavents, north of Southwold, in 2002, but was halted by Waveney District Council a year ago.
It asked him to apply for planning permission and to carry out an environmental impact assessment for his work, but Mr Boggis believes European law allows him to carry on with the project.
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He has resumed his campaign to safeguard the 14-home hamlet by using bulldozers to move shingle from the beach to the base of the cliffs.
Mr Boggis said: “I am endeavouring to protect properties adjacent to the cliffs and this work is stopping the cliff top from falling over. I have piloted this scheme over the last four years and it has proved successful and very effective.”
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A spokesman for Waveney District Council refused to comment on the issue, but Mr Boggis has received support from council leader Peter Austin, who is also a Southwold town councillor.
Mr Austin said: “We have great sympathy for Mr Boggis' predicament and we support the action he is taking. We have no objections in principle for him carrying on.”
He also spoke of his concern of the time it will take the Environment Agency and the council to start work on Southwold's sea defences.
A report in November said the town's sea defences - groynes and a sea wall - were in poor condition and could collapse by 2020.
It recommended building shorter groynes closer together, importing beach material, maintaining the sea wall, building new rock revetments at the northern end of Easton Marshes and a new earth embankment at Botany Marshes to the west of Southwold, but stated work was unlikely to take place before 2005.
Mr Austin said: “By the time something gets done, the sea may come round and it may be the end of the sea defences.”