King Canute's

By Jenni DixonA MODERN-DAY King Canute hailed a “victory for commonsense” last night after a council decided not to stop his coastal defence work.A report by coastal engineering firm Halcrow said Peter Boggis' DIY scheme to protect Easton Bavens could reduce the beach levels at nearby Southwold.

By Jenni Dixon

A MODERN-DAY King Canute hailed a “victory for commonsense” last night after a council decided not to stop his coastal defence work.

A report by coastal engineering firm Halcrow said Peter Boggis' DIY scheme to protect Easton Bavens could reduce the beach levels at nearby Southwold.

But members of Waveney District Council's rural planning committee ruled last night the impact of his work was not significant enough to warrant enforcement action against him.


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They decided that as the scheme had the potential to adversely affect the surrounding area in the long-term, it should be monitored and a report given at each of its monthly meetings.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Boggis, 73, a retired engineer, said: “It's a victory for commonsense.

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“There is no proof that the work I am carrying out will cause any damage to Southwold and it's highly possible it will help to improve the long-term conditions of Southwold's beaches.”

Over the past three years, Mr Boggis has deposited more than 50,000 tonnes of clay soil and builders' waste at the foot of cliffs less than 100 metres from his home in Easton Bavents in an attempt to slow the rate of coastal erosion.

But Paul Patterson, the council's coastal protection manager, said that, based on Halcrow's report, Mr Boggis' work could, in the worst-case scenario, reduce Southwold's beach width by five metres over the next 20 years.

“Work at Easton Bavents will not benefit Southwold. If works are done between Southwold and Kessingland to prevent erosion, then there is potential for beaches either side to suffer damage,” he added.

However, despite the committee's, there is still the prospect of further opposition with conservation group English Nature expected to mount its own challenge to Mr Boggis' scheme in the next few weeks.

Opponents could also refer the decision to the Secretary of State for the Environment, which would probably lead to a public inquiry into the work.

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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