Well, to some, the proposed re-instatement of beach movement seems to be the end of civilisation as we know it. The problem we have at Dungeness is that the area is designated a 'flood area' and needs protection. We have two nuclear power stations – one closed but still one hundred years of radiation to care for. It is inconceivable that any government will allow Dungeness to flood. It just will not happen. There are measures in place – and more afoot – to prevent flooding. One part of the flood protection measures involves the replacing of beach that has been washed around from the West to the East side of the Power Stations. If successful in their operations EDF (the French owned – we Brits own nothing – power suppliers) will ensure we hermits who reside here will be safe for at least another 150 years.
However there are many who want to prevent the movement of this beach. There is evidently a petition of over 1500 names supporting the 'let Dungeness sink' brigade. Over 1500! There are only 40 families who live here permantly. The others are outsiders – one assumes the the same tribe that is against development of the airport or a third nuclear power station. Read 'lovedungeness' website for the full emotional rejection of the beach moving proposals. Personally I do not know what all the fuss is about. Up to six years ago the transporting, by lorry, of beach and during the winter months was carried out with barely a comment. Yes they are very large dumper truck lorries but never proved a danger or threat and were only operational during winter months and Monday to Friday – so even the 'weekend shack owners' were never here to witness the goimngs on. BUT now there is uproar! The greatest area of concern would seem to be the 'destruction of this area of natural beauty etc etc. The noise the pollution of lorries trundling around.
The loss of revenue to the hard pressed community by preventing quote tens of thousands of visiting fishermen to the area unquote. What a load of cods wallop (pun intended). I missed the recent local meeting so spoke directly to both EDF and the Environment Agency for their comments on points I wished to raise. First I wanted to know what was significantly different to the proposed movement of beach now compared with the past. NONE! So what is the problem? Health and Safety have got involved and the immediate vicinity around the extraction and lorry loading area will be 'fenced off '. However reading all the local anti press would have one believe the whole area will be sealed off thus depriving the 'tens of thousands' of visiting fishermen their 'right' to come to Dungeness and leave their garbage behind. As if they help the local economy. They come, they fish they leave. and leave rubbish – which has to be picked up, at a cost, by our local beach cleaner commisar. EDF have stated at none of the meetings they have attended did any of the majority anti brigade make any suggestions as to alternative methods to assist in the flood prevention programme. If the area were allowed to flood there would be no Dungeness.
So those against the proposals would seem to have a death (by drowning one assumes) wish. I had thought perhaps dredging and pumping beach ashore from the sea bed off the point might be an option (as it has been along the coast at Sandgate). EDF states for the relatively small amount of beach required it is too expensive and that movement by lorries and all terrain vehicles is the most cost effective method. EDF have forwarded the FAQ's regarding the situation and both pages are reproduced in full: