Westward Ho! Beach

5th August 2019

Geoffrey Cox, Member of Parliament for Torridge and West Devon, held a summit meeting with key stakeholders on Friday, 2 August, to discuss disabled access onto the beach at Westward Ho! and the long-term coastal management plan for the area to resolve the flooding that has plagued householders and local businesses on the seafront.

The MP has lobbied and repeatedly brought the attention of the agencies to the wider issues of shoreline management at Westward Ho! over the years, working closely with local business owners, and speaking in the House of Commons on the subject.  

The meeting was attended by local business owners and residents as well as the relevant statutory authorities - Torridge District Council, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

Discussion focused on two areas - how to protect the area in the long-term in relation to sea defences, and how to create safe access onto the beach for the elderly and disabled, with the Environment Agency highlighting their long-term plans to improve the existing sea wall, construct new defences and re-engineer the existing slipway.

The MP said: “I am most grateful to those who attended the meeting today. It was a useful discussion and one which has resulted in a commitment to exploring a positive way forward. During the course of the meeting, it was extremely pleasing to learn more from the Environment Agency about their proposed solutions for the long-term protection of the seafront and the homes and businesses which are situated on it and for which I have long campaigned.

“Part of the Environment Agency’s long-term plan involves the creation of safe access onto the beach in the form of a re-engineered slipway, which I very much applaud. Regrettably, however, this work will not be carried out for several years. It is therefore vital that we find an interim solution, and several ideas were put forward. The outcome of these discussions is to develop an outline proposal to construct a temporary access ramp, to be taken forward in partnership by all those present at today’s meeting, with the aim of it being in place next year. 

“I am most grateful for the goodwill and cooperation of all involved in the meeting today, and I hope that the identified proposal will be developed into the interim solution which is so desperately needed. We all agreed that it is simply not acceptable that this beautiful and important local recreational facility is not fully accessible to the disabled in the 21st century.”

Photo: Geoffrey Cox with local residents, councillors and statutory agencies at Westward Ho! beach.

Geoffrey Cox with local residents, councillors and statutory agencies at Westward Ho! beach.


Surgery Dates

Geoffrey holds regular surgeries. To book an appointment please click here or call 01822 612925.
Saturday 9th November
Bideford, Torrington
Saturday 23rd November
Holsworthy, Tavistock