18 March 2014
Well, looks as if Devon CC have admitted that they have some responsibility for the road behind the beach after all. At last, and only six weeks after the appeared, the council has placed barriers around the deep craters made by the storms. A triumph for health and safety, and for common sense too.
The problem is, of course, that bill for this little exercise will be only add to the argument that the council will eventually put forward for casting off its responsibilities. The counter argument is that road or no road they would have to do it because it is also the South West Coastal footpath and it wouldn’t look good if ramblers started falling in.
N2B has been making a careful study of the revised Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2) that covers our area. SMP2 was published in a blaze of obscurity in January 2011 and imposed a rating of No Active Intervention (NAI) on Hallsands. What this means is that, unlike the extraordinary flurry of activity further up the coast, the authorities will take no action to slow erosion at Hallsands.
NAI has become the all-purpose excuse for inaction (safety barriers excepted). Very handy it is too. So handy, in fact, that it is worth considering the following:
Q: Is the decision to rate Hallsands as NAI based on fact? A: No.
Q: Which organisations had a large input into SMP2? A: The local authorities for whom doing nothing is so handy.
Cock-up or conspiracy? What does it matter? The result is the same.