DIY sea defence scheme hits halfway mark

By David LennardA DEFIANT grandfather has completed about half of his DIY sea defence scheme to protect homes from the ravages of the North Sea.Peter Boggis is determined to slow down the rate of erosion that is eating away at the sandstone cliffs in the Easton Bavents area, near Southwold.

By David Lennard

A DEFIANT grandfather has completed about half of his DIY sea defence scheme to protect homes from the ravages of the North Sea.

Peter Boggis is determined to slow down the rate of erosion that is eating away at the sandstone cliffs in the Easton Bavents area, near Southwold.

So far the retired engineer has overseen the placing of 120,000 tonnes of clay at the base of the cliffs along a stretch of coast about half a kilometre long.


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When the project is completed, Mr Boggis hopes to have protected a one-kilometre stretch of the coast in this way.

“In the past three years this work has already proven itself by protecting land at Easton Bavents from falling into the sea,” he said.

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In recent weeks lorries bringing the clay have only been operating during the morning as Mr Boggis did not want to add to the traffic problems in the Southwold area during the busy summer months.

“Once the children go back to school in September we will be able to go back to all-day operations,” he said.

“I would like to thank the local people for their support and understanding in this matter and I believe this defence project will also prove beneficial to the residents of Southwold.”

Although he has received plenty of support for his work to protect his home and those of his neighbours, the project has not been without its critics.

Waveney District Council and English Nature both asked Mr Boggis to stop until a full environmental impact assessment was carried out.

But Mr Boggis was adamant he did not require an assessment and was carrying on with his project.

“At no time have I contravened planning law or European Union directives. This operation is the maintenance and reconstruction of a natural coast defence which has been done to defend the nation. It is also an agricultural operation as it maintains agricultural land,” he said.

The project is believed to be costing in the region of £500,000 and Mr Boggis believed the £20,000 needed for an assessment would be better used for coastal defence schemes.

n The sea defence project at Easton Bavents is due to be featured on Sunday on the BBC2 series Coast.

The programme is expected to include contributions from Mr Boggis, Waveney District Council and English Nature.

david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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