Cliff erosion issue is raised in Parliament

Residents survey the erosion at the cliffs
Residents survey the erosion at the cliffs

THE need for more sea defences at Fairlight has been raised in Parliament.

Lord Bassam of Brighton asked questions in the Commons such as what sea defences were currently in place in East Sussex and what defences in the region were at present in the planning stages.

The Government was also asked to clarify the status on the application for funding of extending sea barriers (berms) and defences at Fairlight.

Lord Bassam also queried if there are current or any planned assessments of coastal erosion, following recent cliff falls near residential areas in East Sussex and why EU solidarity funding was not sought to assist with damage caused in the recent floods and cliff falls.

The eastern berm was installed around 25 years ago, with the western completed in 2007. The distance between them is 260 metres and the intention has always been to link them up.

Following the recent submission for funding to link the two existing sea defence barriers at the foot of the cliffs, village residents went on a tour of the Rockmead Road landslip site.

Led by Laurie Beetham, of the Fairlight Preservation Trust, it took in viewings of the digitally-controlled drainage system in operation on Rockmead Road, the air compressor in the pump-house, and the latest erosion to the cliffs.

From the beach, those on the tour were able to perceive the severity of the problem facing Fairlight, with the scale of the erosion which has taken place over the past six months being particularly shocking.

Residents in the village says 150 homes are at risk of falling into the sea.

Laurie said: “The Fairlight Preservation Trust is very grateful for support in our efforts to get the sea defence barrier completed, especially with so many homes now at real risk.

“The people of Fairlight desperately need better protection that linking the two barriers would provide.”