Plans help protect marsh from flooding

PLANS have been approved to extract shingle from Dungeness to create improved flood defences at Broomhill, Camber.

The move has been welcomed by the Defend Our Coast group who say it will protect Romney and Walland Marshes from flooding in the future.

Brigitte Bass, from Defend Our Coast, said: “Kent County Council have approved the renewed extraction of shingle from the Borrow Pit at Dungeness to feed the Broomhill Sands Frontage at Camber.

The Chairman of Camber Parish Council, Mrs Pat Brazier, attended the KCC planning committee hearing last Friday (Jan 24) together with DOC’s Chairman Terry Preston to speak in support of the application.

“This is very good news indeed and goes a long way towards avoiding potential inundation from the sea, particularly in the light of the massive shingle erosion we recently experienced along this frontage following the high spring tides and stormy conditions.

“Recycling shingle, which had washed down from Broomhill towards Dungeness, was an operation carried out continually from the late 1960s until 2007 when Natural England suddenly objected for it to continue.

“ In order to protect the foreshore at Camber shingle had then to be sourced by the Environment Agency from inland quarries at triple expense to the taxpayer.

“After years of negotiations with various stakeholders and agreement from Natural England shingle can once again be recycled from Dungeness saving the taxpayer a great deal of money and hopefully freeing off some much needed funds to invest in more permanent sea defence schemes.

“This is a great result for DOC and for the Marsh and its communities as a whole.”

The group emphasise though that using gravel is only seen as an interim measure and that the only real, long-term, sensible and sustainable option is to build adequate and permanent sea defences.