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Legal advice against environment agency needed!!! watch

    • Thread Starter


    Just hoping someone might be able to offer some suggestions or advice on a legal matter regarding the environment agency i am not a student but we (as a community) have helped out many students with art projects over the years!!!!

    I'll try and be brief but it takes some explaining!!!

    I live on a houseboat in Shoreham, there are 40 of us here each owning an individual freehold plot of land (mud!!), if you can imagine the boats lined up along a river bank with a raised concrete path alongside us acting as a flood defence owned by the environment agency (although it is actually on our land)

    Due to increased sea level rises the environment agency (EA) want to raise the path and have just informed us that they cannot afford to raise the path so they are going to build a wall behind it!!! this will in effect contain us within a flood area meaning on very high tides water will cover the path meaning firstly a wet walk home!! and secondly refusal from emergency services accessing us. imagine a high tide at night in bad weather, the path is flooded and an elderly man has a heart attack, the ambulance and fire would refuse to access as they wouldnt be able to see the path or the edge of it (no handrails) so would not access us due to it being too risky when they do their risk assessment,

    When i confronted the EA they came back and said they have spoken to the coast guard! and in that event would send out a small inflatable boat to rescue!!! 1)how long would that take? 2) try and get a 15 stone man down a 3-4m long ladder from a moving houseboat into an inflatable dingy! etc.....

    I hold a current health and safety certificate in construction and i know this sort of response would not be tolerated if an option of raising the path was available. The path probably comes under the health and safety at work act as the EA will be maintaining it classifying it as a place of work and hence they have a duty of care against home owners and the public, i called the health and safety executive this morning but they said they cant act until work has started!!!! but it all would have been approved by then!

    Any help would be very very greatly appreciated as we are being bullied at the moment by a very large organisation.

    Many thanks


    ps. as freehold owners with planning permission to live here on a boat permanently we pay council tax and are classified as permanent residential dwellings.
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