Worthing committed to protecting its foreshore

Released: Friday, 23 June 2023

New applications are being prepared to help protect two sections of foreshore in Worthing, in a move to improve the quality of the town's coastal waters.

Worthing Borough Council and its team of citizen scientists are hard at work gathering data for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in a bid to supplement the town's single designated area of bathing water with two more.
 
Designated bathing water zones allow the Environment Agency to test the seawater for bacteria annually, helping to identify sources of pollution - a move which would help hold polluters to account and achieve the highest bathing water classification.

One of the new applications is for the section of shore opposite Beach House Grounds and the other is for the section of beach opposite Sea Lane in Goring.

We are determined to achieve bathing water status in these areas after last year's application for the section of shore opposite Beach House Grounds was rejected by Defra.

After seeking clarification, we were eventually informed our bather numbers were insufficient, despite Defra not specifying a threshold for a successful application.

Committed to ensuring the town's seawater quality is regularly checked at a number of sites along Worthing's foreshore, work is well underway for two new applications ahead of this year's deadline in October.

Applications must provide a breakdown of the number of beach and water users between May and September, as well as provide details of the public facilities in the area. A public consultation seeking support for the applications must also feature. 

Cllr Vicki Wells, Worthing's Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

“We are acutely aware of the increased use of our coastal waters by many groups of sea swimmers, water sports users and visitors who all enjoy time in the sea.

“Despite 20 hours of survey data recording sea use at East Beach, Defra chose not to grant Bathing Designation status last year. Ours wasn't the only application denied, in fact, only four applications across the entire country were approved. We are determined to improve water quality monitoring in Worthing and must have the special designated areas to do this.

“I am hugely grateful to the 16 volunteers who are currently gathering data for the West section at Goring Gap and the 11 volunteers who are gathering data for a second time at East Beach. It's nonsense for Defra to say Worthing doesn't have enough people engaging with the sea to grant these special designations. We aim to prove we do.

“Collectively, we're putting in a huge amount of effort to create two strong applications which we hope will be impossible to refuse.”

Worthing currently has one designated bathing water zone at Heene Road, which runs from Western Place to Sea View Road.

Photo: The stretch of coastline opposite Beach House Grounds in Worthing

Worthing Beach (looking east) - opposite Beach House Grounds

Photo: Goring Beach looking east towards Worthing Pier

Goring Beach looking east towards Worthing Pier

(PR23-083)

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Page last updated: 20 February 2024

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