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Plan to install matting to halt cliff erosion at Eastchurch granted by Swale council

A plan to halt cliff erosion threatening to dump homes into the sea has been granted permission by Swale council.

A planning application to install measures aimed at protecting properties in Surf Crescent and Third Avenue, Eastchurch, from disappearing over the edge of a cliff were approved last week.

The proposals, conceived by Peter MacDonald, of Chequers Road, Minster, include a biodegradable mesh being laid over the earth with the aim of holding the land together long enough for grass and willow and birch seedlings to take hold.

Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey. Picture: Simon Burchett
Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey. Picture: Simon Burchett

It is hoped the vegetation will then soak up surface water to prevent further slippage while logs and stakes would be hammered into the bottom of the cliff to break up the waves.

Swale council’s members have pledged £30,000 towards the cost of the project.

Malcolm Newell, chairman of Eastchurch Gap Community Group who lives in Surf Crescent, said well done to the council on the decision but they were still waiting for approval from Natural England.

The site falls within a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to fossils and species of plant found there.

Malcolm Newell
Malcolm Newell

Mr Newell said: “What is there is just bare earth. Nothing will survive there anyway so when they talk about flora and fossils they are down the bottom and all the clay has fallen on top as far as I’m concerned.

“We have got the money, we have got the planning permission and the permission from the landowners and you think that would be enough.

“Time is running out and we need to get the grass down now to start growing before the winter.”

He said Swale council was arranging a meeting with Natural England to discuss the plans.

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