Geoffrey Cox QC, Member of Parliament for Torridge and West Devon, visited Westward Ho! on Friday, 13 March 2020, to inspect the damage caused to the seafront and local businesses by the recent high tides.
The MP also chaired a meeting with key stakeholders, including coastal protection authority, Torridge District Council, to identify what action must be taken immediately to prevent further damage to homes and businesses.
A productive meeting took place at which a way forward was agreed by all parties. This will provide an interim solution to strengthen the coastal defences at Westward Ho!, prior to the Environment Agency’s longer-term plans to improve the sea wall and construct new defences.
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.
He said: “I have consistently warned the statutory authorities to undertake the necessary ameliorative works at Westward Ho!. The damage which has been caused as a result of the recent high tides is further evidence that an interim scheme is a necessity, pending the permanent works that the Environment Agency has already committed to.”