Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Residents pull together as they await news on funding to fix destroyed slipway and hole in sea wall caused by the storms.
THE community of Bucks Mills is hoping the worst of the stormy weather is over after high spring tides smashed a hole through the sea wall on Sunday.
A giant hole measuring around four-to-five metres was punched in the wall by huge waves, and the slipway has been washed away barring access to the beach.
David Walls, who has lived in the historic hamlet for nearly 40 years, said he had seen a similar scenario in 1997 but this damage was far worse.
“I think this probably happened in around two hours and it has got worse since the hole first appeared on Sunday,” he said.
“We’re just thankful that there was no damage to any properties.”
Fellow Bucks Mills residents Carole and Mark Fellows said they feared unless urgent action was taken the hamlet would be subjected to landslips and property damage.
They said: “A small hole in the wall has been gradually getting larger, sections of the top walling had been repaired after the previous storm, but the gap on the seaward side was ignored.
“On Saturday night the huge waves and pressure shocks took full advantage of this and anyone standing on top of the quay would have been killed.”
Parish councillor Roy Turner said residents were concerned about the fact they could not access the beach as the eroded slipway has left a sheer drop.
“There have been some people volunteering to help with the clean-up and we will be holding a meeting to discuss how we will go forward,” he said.
David Gale, chairman of the Bucks Mills Society, said they were now waiting for Torridge to undertake temporary works and eventually rebuild the structures.
He added: “The lime kilns and slipway are critical, both to the heritage and local economy as well as an important amenity asset
“The community wish to support Torridge District Council to undertake the above works and will be pulling together to help.
“Community funding is envisaged to help contribute to costs of rebuild and any help will be welcome.”