DIY sea defence man issues court threat

A LANDOWNER behind a DIY sea defence scheme on the Suffolk coast has said he is prepared to fight English Nature in the courts after claiming it was thwarting his “legitimate” work.

By David Green

A LANDOWNER behind a DIY sea defence scheme on the Suffolk coast has said he is prepared to fight English Nature in the courts after claiming it was thwarting his “legitimate” work.

The Government's wildlife agency has recently re-drawn the boundaries of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) between Pakefield and Easton Bavents to include the area where Peter Boggis has been creating a large defensive bank in front of eroding cliffs.

The new designation, claimed to be necessary because of natural changes in the coastline since the boundaries were first fixed, was formally approved by the agency's national executive committee in December.


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Landowners carrying out a range of activities within the designated area now have to consult with English Nature and obtain permission.

However, the new designation is to be challenged by Mr Boggis who is employing solicitors to present a legal case.

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He claimed yesterday that the re-designation was aimed at preventing him continuing his “legitimate” sea defence work.

“Work I am doing should be allowed to progress. It is a project of national importance - the only one of its kind and it is being carried out without cost to the taxpayer.

“This is a travesty of justice and any delay in the maintenance of the sacrificial sea defence that I have constructed will cost people's homes, first at Easton Bavents and then at Southwold as the area becomes an undefended promontory.”

Mr Boggis said the level of beaches in the area had been dropping since 1950 and the situation had now become critical.

“I have been refused the right to maintain my project which causes an absolute waste to the nation and an immense financial waste to me as my only way forward is via the courts which consumes money which would have been spent on sacrificial sea defence.

“These organisations are traitors to the nation as they are hell bent on ensuring the rapid destruction of the coast, not only here but nationally,” he added.

Patrick Robinson, English Nature's conservation officer for the SSSI, said there was concern that Mr Boggis had never sought formal approval of his sea defence project.

“We are happy to work with any of the landowners and occupiers to minimise the impact of their activities on the land while protecting the nature conservation and geological features of the SSSI,” he said.

Mr Robinson said landowners had until April 8 to comment on the new designation or register their objections.

Any objections which could not be resolved would be put in front of the agency's council when it met in the summer to decide whether to confirm or withdraw the designation.

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