Hemsby coastal campaigners turned down by Coastal Communities Fund
Coastal campaigners have been dealt a blow in their mission to protect Hemsby’s fragile beach, properties and businesses from erosion after their bid for £2.3m of funding was turned down.
Members of Save Hemsby Coastline submitted an application to the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) for the seven-figure sum that would have allowed them to build sustainable defences to protect the full 2.1 Km stretch of beach running from Scratby to Winterton-on-Sea. Sadly their bid has been turned down by the trustees who stated that they had received 233 applications requesting a total of £153 million, and that they only have a budget of around £42 million to spend.
Ironically, CCF’s money comes in the main from the aggregates levy, about half of which is generated from the sand and gravel dredged offshore to the self-same coastline that is being depleted and damaged by the aggregate dredging itself.
Ian Brennan, Chairman of save Hemsby’s Coastline chairman, said that he was very disappointed after putting such a lot of effort into getting it through, and failed to understand why the bid was rejected when it met all the criteria. But he vowed that the group would fight on and look to other sources to secure the much-needed funding.
He said: “We’re still committed. This is not the end of the road, we have lost one battle but we’ve not lost the war. The next stage for us is to continue working with the Environment Agency and local council to pull together to get an agreement with both of those over a particular sea defence scheme”
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis pledged to go back to the CCF to press for more details about why the bid was turned down.