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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 February, 2003, 16:33 GMT
Pensioner's 50,000 battle to hold back sea
Peter Boggis
Peter Boggis is fighting to stop the cliff eroding
A retired engineer is fighting a one-man battle to try to stop cliff erosion near his home.

Peter Boggis, 72, from Easton Bavents, near Southwold, Suffolk, said he had become frustrated with the authorities' lack of action over the encroaching North Sea.

About 24,000 tonnes of clay soil has been dumped on a beach which his family owns.

He said the work would have cost around 50,000 but most of the money for the "soft sea defences" has come from donations,.

His 1930s home, on land owned by his family for almost a century, is 100 metres from the cliff edge.

There are nine other properties nearby.

"I have become frustrated for many years by the inability of the various bodies to get together and defend this section of the coastline," he said.

"They have literally condemned this section of the coast to death and I don't accept the death sentence."

He said the cliff was eroding at about 4.5 metres a year.

To slow the proces a bank 150 metres long, 20 metres wide and six metres deep has been built over the past four months.

As far as we are concerned he's not doing any harm, but whether he's doing any good in the long term we are not so certain
Waveney District Council spokesman
A temporary access road allows lorries to reach the beach.

Mr Boggis said his beach level had risen by 1.5 metres, and the high water mark gone back by 25 metres, while an adjacent cliff not affected by his defences had eroded by five metres.

The Environment Agency and Waveney District Council are responsible for the affected stretch of coastline.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said Mr Boggis had the right to protect his property, and it was monitoring his work.

A Waveney District Council spokesman said: "As far as we are concerned he's not doing any harm, but whether he's doing any good in the long term we are not so certain."



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