Sea defence blow

PUBLISHED: 04:45 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:10 24 May 2010

PART of a sea defence scheme paid for by residents may have to be taken down because planning permission for it has been refused. The structure made from a mixture of stone boulders and soil, have been put up in the gardens of some homes in The Colony off

PART of a sea defence scheme paid for by residents may have to be taken down because planning permission for it has been refused.The structure made from a mixture of stone boulders and soil, have been put up in the gardens of some homes in The Colony off Berrow Road, Burnham. They had been there for some time before Sedgemoor District Council told residents they needed planning permission.Planning officer Chris Gomm recently refused the application because Sedgemoor believes the defences affect the landscape character.A Sedgemoor spokesman said: "The application was refused and has been referred to the development and control manager who is considering what to ask residents to do."The structures which consist of soil and rock with a fence on top are unlikely to be removed completely but the fence may have to be taken down. Exactly what will be done about it is yet to be decided."Sedgemoor development control manager, Christine Miles, said: "The sea defence works by reason of their size, height and profile and the extent to which they project from the previously established coastline, severely harm the landscape character and scenic quality of the locality and fail to respect the natural beauty of the coast. "The large scale works are an incongruous, alien feature located in a very highly visible position on the edge of the sea and beach which is a much used local amenity and if permitted, would set an undesirable precedent for further encroachment and removal of the beach areas." District and town councillor Neville Jones said: "I believe the structures were first built about six years ago and were originally just pieces of corrugated iron. They were put there to stop the encroachment of the sea onto residents' land."Now the structures are made of boulders, stones and staves and are somewhat ad-hoc. I have sympathy with the residents as nobody was doing anything to protect their property. If they feel the structures keep the sea away, no doubt they feel justified.

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