Detriment of Weston

HAVING read your article on the proposed scheme suggested by Mr Woolls and seafront hoteliers for a marina and breakwater I can only wonder how

HAVING read your article on the proposed scheme suggested by Mr Woolls and seafront hoteliers for a marina and breakwater I can only wonder how anyone can take them seriously.Leaving aside the monumental cost of the project, the view from shore of massive concrete structures at low tide and let's face it, the tide is out longer than in, it would be to the detriment of Weston with its open bay and distinctively shaped coastline. And if the concerned hoteliers of Marine Parade think that a view from their bars out to sea of a large expanse of blackened wall obliterating the horizon and islands is preferable to a raised existing sea wall then they are deluding themselves.What I find distasteful in this matter is that a spokesman for the traders says 'once we get planning permission, looking for funding will be the next stage' as if the whole thing is cut and dried and we will have this scheme. What about the views of the other 80,000 or so people in Weston and surrounds. Are these traders elected people to make decisions on my behalf? The agreed scheme might be unpopular to some, but as I understand it, it has been agreed by our representatives.We do have a potential disaster in the making, namely a once-in-a-lifetime tidal surge and no breakwater is going to prevent that. At the most vulnerable part of Weston between West Street and Knightstone the only solution is to raise the height of the sea wall, this being the lowest point combined with the most westerly. In 1981, Uphill's floods were caused in the main by a tidal surge, when a sudden barometric pressure change together with a Spring tide caused the sea level to rise considerably higher than expected. No breakwater would have prevented that disaster, the tide simply lifted higher than predicted and poured over the sea defences at the wharf and other places.The sea wall scheme is the right way to prevent the town from flooding. It might be inelegant and unpalatable to a minority of businessmen but there are many more who would be adversely affected if nothing was done or a breakwater approved. However, on something of such importance, all avenues should be explored and the first would be to seek advice from the world experts in sea defence, Dutch engineers. If they were showed the seafront traders' plan I guarantee they would fall around laughing.M K WILMOTVia e-mail

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