Cash to be spent on sea defence papers

PUBLISHED: 06:47 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:11 24 May 2010

COUNCIL chiefs have agreed to spend £500,000 on getting the paperwork in place to revamp Weston's sea defences - even though there is no guarantee vital Government funding will materialise. The money will be spent on working up a detailed design for the £

COUNCIL chiefs have agreed to spend £500,000 on getting the paperwork in place to revamp Weston's sea defences - even though there is no guarantee vital Government funding will materialise.The money will be spent on working up a detailed design for the £7.5 million scheme to safeguard up to 2,000 properties near the seafront from flooding.The funding will also used to ensure all the legal and planning paperwork for the scheme is completed before any Government grants are made.The council had already earmarked £150,000 for this in December and has now added a further £100,000. The Wessex Regional Flood Defence Committee will also make a decision on whether to give £250,000 to the scheme when it meets on Monday.North Somerset Council's executive committee voted on Tuesday to spend the cash even though there is no guarantee the Government will fund the project this year.In a recent announcement, the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it was unlikely to be able to find the cash for the project in this year's budget. But council officers hope they can persuade Defra to change its mind when it reviews its budget in the autumn.Executive member for transport and strategic planning Councillor John Crockford-Hawley said: "Nobody from Defra is guaranteeing funding."This is a bit of a gamble but if we make plans we will be up and ready to start work when funding comes through."If we wait for a nudge and a wink from Government before doing anything, we may be too late.

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