Extraordinary pressure

PUBLISHED: 08:04 04 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:17 24 May 2010

REGARDING the new flood defences, my concern is not so much the end solution, although I believe there are better alternatives to the inner wall as currently proposed

REGARDING the new flood defences, my concern is not so much the end solution, although I believe there are better alternatives to the inner wall as currently proposed, rather I regret the extraordinary pressure now being put on the public and members of the West Area Planning Committee to conform to the officer's preferred solution. Published comments on what dreadful things will happen if approval is delayed demonstrates to me that desperation has taken hold in certain quarters. This is no doubt encouraged by the Environment Agency who, with no money anyway at present, seems oblivious to any new technology solutions or in fact anything other than stonewalling (in both senses).Since the end result will have to stand for at least as long as the current sea wall, what harm is there in continuing to explore a few alternative solutions? These could include the retractable barrier put forward earlier, or even re-looking at a wall which incorporates the front walls of the hotel patios along the seafront, and thus maintains the broad promenade vista that is so much a feature of this part of the seafront. There is also a still unanswered question of how the access gaps in the wall will be plugged when necessary. This has to include at least one the width of Knightstone Causeway if road access is to be maintained, an obvious Achilles Heel in the current design.I shall watch with much interest the vote at West Area on December 14. Will Cllr Mike Bell be present arguing against it or mysteriously absent? Will the Liberal Democrats be whipped into line by Cllr CH and vote en masse in favour or sit on their hands? Will the Labour pact with the Lib Dems stand firm? Will the three Conservative votes make a difference? By Jove, we don't get excitement like this out in the sticks!CLLR ELFAN AP REESLocking, Hutton and Bleadons Village Wards

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