We keep our fingers crossed that the emergency, temporary work carried out after the storms of 2013/14 will continue for the time being to hold up against the very severe winds and seas of this season.
Our pre-planning application to rebuild and strengthen our existing defences was accepted by the South Downs National Park in the spring of 2016. The planning authorities were very encouraging and helpful and did suggested it might be a rather complicated process and suggested we employ a planning consultant. Thank goodness they gave us that advice as even he is finding it much more complicated than he expected!
We have to consult and send reports to no fewer than 10 different agencies - all with their own interests and concerns. Starting with the town, district and county councils, we also have to satisfy The Environment Agency and Natural England; have an Historic Environmental Record consultation Report, make a Marine Management Organisation Licensing Application, an Engineering Report, Flood Risk, and Transport Assessment, Soil Management Plan, Landscape Appraisal... and so it goes on. But we are getting there and hope to have planning granted early in the new year.
All this costs money. We reckon it will be well over £20,000. just to get the planning application in. Our fund raising this year has helped tremendously but we desperately need more funds.
Once we get the planning approved we will be in a position to begin the campaign to cover the cost of rebuilding and strengthening our existing defences to last on into the future. We will be seeking a fundraising consultant and looking to make bids with Heritage Lottery funds and other sources along with the wonderful support we have had from the people who know the value of this view.