Members who have been to the club recently will have seen that our grounds are more akin to a muddy field than a dinghy park, and our committee have had to resort to writing the letter below to the decision-makers in the Environment Agency, and their contractors Team Van Oord and Mackley, with copies to our Local Councillors, Shoreham Herald, the RYA and the Port.
The letter has already generated some responses and we will keep members updated with further developments.
Before work began in 2017 on the Adur Tidal Walls, Shoreham SC was an active dinghy sailing club enjoying a year-on-year increase in membership and income. The club grounds were covered in mature grass (photo 1) which had no areas of standing water, boats could be moved easily across it (photo 2) and there were never any instances of seawater entering the club grounds.
A Notice of Intended Entry was issued to us by the Environment Agency on 20 September 2017 and contractors came onsite on 1 November 2017 with a proposed departure date of 31 March. During the period of occupation regular meetings were help with the contractors and the following concerns were regularly raised by our team of volunteers (email evidence available);
- Compaction of the soil due to the heavy machinery being used on site
- Reinstatement of our grounds to ensure it is left as it was found
- The impact on our club of the continued occupation of our land
The contractors extended their occupation of Shoreham SC land for a further 15 weeks, until Friday 13 July and provided a temporary launching ramp for access to the water which was limited to 3 hours either side of high water. Additional storage space for boats was provided in a neighbouring car park.
The impact to Shoreham SC of works by Team Van Oord and Mackley on behalf of the Environment Agency are as follows;
- Shoreham SC lost 18 races from our sailing calendar.
- Limited launching restricted the ability of some boats and people to launch and recover boats.
- Shoreham SC had to cancel an event for visiting boats on 19 and 20 May and incur associated loss of income
- Due to the disruption Shoreham SC income in 2018 was 16% less than in 2017 and 9% less than in 2016
The current situation for Shoreham SC on Wednesday 30 January;
- Perpetual standing water on our site since departure of contractors (photo 4)
- Seawater overtopping the tidal wall (Photo 3) which;
- Contaminates the ground
- Has drenched our winch making it unusable
- Recent work by contractors has churned up our site (photo 5).
- The growth of grass is severely restricted by standing and salt water, and the disruption as described above
- Outstanding payment of £73 for water services (from 11 August) and £452 for payment of water usage from water pipe broken by contractor.
Our sailing season is due to start in 8 weeks on Sunday 31 March and whilst we have an excellent new slipway our dinghy park is unusable for storing and moving boats on, and we have had no response to our repeated requests to meet with contractors and the Environment Agency to resolve the issues.
Commodore, Shoreham Sailing Club
Cc’d to Shoreham Port, Adur and Worthing Council, Royal Yachting Association, Shoreham Herald