Disputed sea walls is rejected by planners

SEA defence plans ran into boggy ground this week as councillors unanimously opposed a splash wall for Weston. A £7million plan to raise the seawall, improve the promenade and build a 1-1.5m secondary splash wall came under fire from Weston Town Council's

SEA defence plans ran into boggy ground this week as councillors unanimously opposed a splash wall for Weston.A £7million plan to raise the seawall, improve the promenade and build a 1-1.5m secondary splash wall came under fire from Weston Town Council's planning committee on Wednesday.North Somerset Council officers submitted a planning application for the scheme, saying the Government will not fund anything more elaborate. The proposal is backed by the Weston Hotels and Restaurants Association 'in the absence of anything better'.But disappointed seafront businessman Chris Kimitri told the planning committee there are too few pedestrian openings in the splash wall and he is calling on all seafront traders to sell their businesses in a mass protest.Liberal Democrat councillor Mike Bell said North Somerset Council lacked the ambition to push for a breakwater and marina scheme.He said: "Everyone knows something has to be done to defend the town from flooding, but we need something that adds to Weston."North Somerset Council's own study says that the splash wall scheme won't add £1 to the economy, but that a £16m 'water amenity' scheme would generate £17m and up to £100m if we built something much bigger and more elaborate."In the past our leaders took the right choices, that's how we got the Winter Gardens, the international airport and the highest diving platform in Europe, because people had ambition."I don't want to tell children that not only did we not make the right choice, but we didn't even try."He said the wall would make the promenade like a prison and that the scheme is a missed golden opportunity to get Government cash.Businesses and North Somerset councillors had voted overwhelmingly for a marina scheme two years ago, but had been ignored, he added.The application is likely to be considered by North Somerset Council's west area committee in December.


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