'Help our coastal villages' - Boggis

A CAMPAIGNER fighting to protect his coastal property is today calling for new funding to be invested in the future.It was announced yesterday that Waveney District Council is set to receive more than �1.

A CAMPAIGNER fighting to protect his coastal property is calling for new funding to be invested in the future.

It was announced this week that Waveney District Council is set to receive more than �1.5m from the government's Coastal Change Pathfinder cash pot to plan and manage the changes occurring on Suffolk's coast, particularly at Corton Village and Easton Bavents.

Among those keen to have an input in how the money is spent is 78-year-old campaigner, Peter Boggis, who has built more than 1km of his own coastal defences in front of the eroding cliffs below his house at Easton Bavents, just north of Southwold, using 250,000 tonnes of compacted clay soil.

For the past three years he has been fighting against Natural England's proposals to include the fossil-rich cliffs in a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest but appeal judges ruled against him and stated that the cliffs should be allowed to erode naturally.

Mr Boggis, whose house sits just 302ft (92m) from the edge of the cliff, said: 'I am already in negotiations with Natural England, Waveney and the Environment Agency to try and establish a path which will give Easton Bavents a future. Therefore it will be most pleasing if some of the funds are spent on helping to investigate a practical route forward.'

Waveney District Council claim work at Easton Bavents will focus on long-term planning solutions and will include approaching the issue of coastal erosion from a planning perspective, looking at adapting policies and possible relocations.

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Councillor Ken Sale, portfolio holder for environment, said: 'The money will be used for that link-up with the community. It will be about explaining the risks to them and how Waveney can help them. We cannot just build concrete walls along the coast though. If you put it in one area, it creates problems further along the coast.'

Mr Boggis added: 'I consider relocation is wrong. It is quite feasible to defend the coast for the next 50 years by allowing me to maintain the existing defences. I would be pleased if a reasonable proportion of this money was invested in planning to give Easton Bavents a long term future.'

Waveney was one of 15 coastal change pathfinder authorities announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and secured the second largest bid in the country. The bid was prepared by the Suffolk Coast Futures initiative, which covers the whole of the Suffolk coastline and is funded by a partnership.

In Corton the council will be looking at developing the amenity level and accessibility of the beach and enhancing facilities.

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