New fencing and bollards in West Wittering will 'address safety concerns'
Plans to install new fencing and bollards in West Wittering are not intended to discourage visitors, the beach management company has insisted.
West Sussex County Council 'intends to consent' to the siting of bollard and cleft fencing at 'strategic locations' on B2179 Cakeham Road and B2179 Rookwood Road.
The plans were submitted by West Wittering Estate PLC in partnership with West Wittering Parish Council.
The application has led to concerns in the community that the village will turn into an 'unwelcoming and unfriendly' place for visitors.
A spokesperson for the West Wittering Estate (WWE) said: "The proposals to install bollards and fencing are to address safety concerns for several key areas and not about discouraging visitors.
“The pre-booking system initially introduced to allow the beach to operate throughout the pandemic will remain as it allows the West Wittering Estate to manage the beach in a safer and more sustainable manner.”
Before the pandemic, daily visitor numbers were increasing to a level that the beach and peninsula ‘struggled to cope with’, the estate revealed.
“Limiting daily numbers addresses this concern,” the spokesperson said. “While daily peak visitors are not as high as they once were, monthly visitor numbers are.
“The same if not more people are visiting the beach and area but the demand is now being spread.”
WWE said it has worked closely with local authorities and other beach operators around the south coast, most recently joining forces with Bournemouth Council and registering with their National Beach Check app.
They added: “Like other venues, beaches and beauty spots, WWE would like to welcome visitors and ensure people can enjoy a safe day out in harmony with the local community, business, and residents."
Any representation about the county council's intention to grant consent must be made by July 12. These can be made online here, quoting reference number 2800234.