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Campaigner wins High Court battle

PUBLISHED: 12:20 05 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:57 05 July 2010

RETIRED engineer Peter Boggis today won a High Court battle for the right to attempt to save his clifftop home from falling into the North Sea.

Mr Boggis has fought a long and expensive battle to protect homes in Easton Bavents, near Southwold, from falling into the sea but Natural England, the body responsible for the country's natural features, have fought against his plans because they want to allow the fossil-bearing cliffs near his homes to erode 'for scientific reasons'.

RETIRED engineer Peter Boggis today won a High Court battle for the right to attempt to save his clifftop home from falling into the North Sea.

Mr Boggis has fought a long and expensive battle to protect homes in Easton Bavents, near Southwold, from falling into the sea but Natural England, the body responsible for the country's natural features, have fought against his plans because they want to allow the fossil-bearing cliffs near his homes to erode 'for scientific reasons'.

The ruling was a victory for Mr Boggis, 77, who has spent thousands of pounds building his own sea defences out of 250,000 tonnes of compacted clay soils.

He will not be able to resume maintenance of his sea defences until after a possible appeal by Natural England after today's ruling.

Mr Boggis said this morning: “Mr Justice Blair's judgment lifts a great shadow from my mind and gives hope for the future of those that live by the coast of Britain.

“We have lived a nightmare in recent years. Inconvenient or not to bureaucracy, the defence of the coast should not be walked away from.

“As I start again the maintenance and reconstruction of the simple sea defence of Easton Bavents, my neighbours will again be able to sleep without worry, instead of wondering if their homes will be lost in the next storm.”

Mr Boggis was awarded 80pc of his costs and both parties were granted permission to appeal the ruling.

Malcolm Kerby of the Happisburgh based Coastal Concern Action Group, who has known Mr Boggis for several years and has shared a platform with him at public meetings in the past, said he was delighted by the victory.

He said: “I would like to congratulate him. Peter Boggis is one of life's absolute gentlemen and a brave man indeed.

“He has soldiered on against all the odds and he has not allowed the great machinery of government to intimidate him. It is a shot in the arm for all coastal dwellers.”

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