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Action needed at Challaborough

August 09, 2011 | Words By: Hugo

Surfers Against Sewage’s (SAS) recently learnt that Challaborough, one of the south coast’s premier waves is under threat from an ill-conceived near shore development and as part of our Protect Our Waves (POW) campaign. SAS urgently need the help of surfers, waveriders and beach lovers to protect this quality wave!


There is currently an application to dump a substantial amount of rock armoury on the foreshore. However, an independent survey predicted negligible erosion over the next 100 years. SAS have launched a petition to ensure the planning inspectorate fully understands just how important the waves at Challaborough. The public have until August the 12th to register their support by signing the petition on the SAS website.

Unfortunately, the dumping of this rock armoury could have a devastating impact on the waves at Challaborough. The first application for the rock armoury, to the local authority was rejected; however, the developers are now appealing to the planning inspectorate.

To date, over 600 surfers have signed SAS’s petition to oppose the development. This alone proves the popularity of the wave and the strength of feeling that these issues raise. However, more can be done; we have until the 12th of August 2011 to register our comments and the more signatures we have the harder it will be for the powers that be to ignore us.

SAS believe that the concerns of surfers and waveriders have been treated in an inappropriately dismissive manner. SAS believes that insufficient consideration has been given to the economic and social impacts that the potential degradation of the wave at Challaborough could have.

SAS’s main concern is that of backwash from the rock armour at high tide, causing danger to surfers and other beach users and degrading the quality of the wave which is an extremely popular local resource. We believe this is in direct conflict with the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (conducted by John Grimes Partnership, 2011). That erroneously stated that; “the structure is over 50m from the typical surf zone…mitigating potential impacts” Also of concern is the affect the rock armour would have on the aesthetic quality of the beach, and how this will impact on tourism, particularly as the proposed development sits within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Coastal Conservation Zone.

The Environment Agency’s Shoreline Management Plan (Halcrow, 2009) for the area does not provide sufficient evidence for the need to construct a rock armour sea defence at the base of the cliffs on the east side of the beach- “the hard rock cliffs located along the eastern and western parts of this section (Challaborough Bay) have eroded only very little over the long term, and this is expected to continue in the future, with negligible erosion predicted by 2025”.

This is your opportunity to make sure this important wave is protected! Simple visit sas.org.uk enter your name and press send and you will have sent a letter of support for the waves at Challaborough directly to the planning inspectorate. ACT NOW! Any comments must be lodged by the 12th August 2011.

SAS Campaign Director Andy Cummins says: “As a waverider it’s imperative you take action now, before this amazing wave is lost. Sign SAS’s online petition, forward to your friends, share on Facebook, tweet, blog and help Protect Our Waves”.

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