19 November, 2020

Third letter of complaint to the EA

Due to the erosion pictured we have written our third letter of complaint to the Environment Agency and their contractors. Despite warning them about this (and other matters) in September, and a further call and email on Monday, no action has been taken. Thanks tho to Shoreham Port for the current safety measures.

Dear Sirs,

This is the third time that I have needed to escalate a complaint about the problems the Environment Agency and your contractors have created for Shoreham Sailing Club due to the Adur Tidal Walls project – for reference;

Our latest complaint relates to erosion as a direct result of the construction work to the East of Shoreham Sailing Club. Over the weekend of 14 and 15 November 2020, the erosion around the North end of the tidal wall became so significant that the footpath has been closed for safety reasons by Shoreham Port and the boundary fence of Shoreham SC (new this year) is close to collapse – see photos attached. Andrew Walker of the EA was made aware of this by email and telephone call on Monday 16 November.

On 15 September 2020 I wrote to the Russell Long of the EA explaining our concerns about the significant erosion taking place to the north of the slipway and the continued degradation of the slipway itself. Fifty-seven days after this email, and at a time when the Adur and Worthing Council Scrutiny Committee were looking into the work of the EA in this area, I received a phone call from Andrew England requesting further background information.

The email on the 15 September;

  • illustrated the erosion of the beach using the attached photos from 2018. 2019 and 2020, 
  • hilighted the issue of erosion in the area at the end of the tidal wall 
  • raised concern that the erosion was threatening the integrity of groynes 
  • reported that the rock revetments are becoming further exposed and continue to roll down the beach. 
  • explained that the drop-off from the slipway onto the beach and rocks is now nearly 3 metres

Regarding the degradation of our slipway, work was carried out on it in February 2020 to remedy the panels lifting. In response to a request from Keeley Mowatt we informed the EA that the panels were starting to lift again on 5 May and reported further lifting on 2 September. We were informed that Keeley had left the project, but were not given a contact to report to. All of this was included in the email to Russell Long on the 15 September. The panels continue to lift and spalling continues to occur. 
As per my previous email of 20 November 2019 – based on the history of poor communication and lack of action from the Environment Agency and contractors we require further reassurance that these serious and ongoing issues will be resolved in a timely and effective manner;

  • The current erosion issues require urgent remedial action to reinstate the footpath and secure our boundary. 
  • Any damage to our property caused by this erosion needs to be made good
  • A long term solution to the erosion needs to be found to stop it impacting on;
    • this and other areas used by the sailing club, 
    • the stability and effectiveness of the groynes,
    • the safety of our members using the slipway. 
  • A permanent solution needs to be found for the lifting of the concrete panels on the slipway.

I am writing this on behalf of the sailing club, but the problems created by the erosion have effected the local community including restricting their access to a popular footpath.

Your sincerely

Sophie Mackley
Commodore, Shoreham Sailing Club

Cc’d to Shoreham Port, Adur and Worthing Council, Royal Yachting Association, Shoreham Herald, Tim Loughton MP