Removing WW2 wall could have major impact on Guernsey golf course

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 22, 2017 16:32

A multi-million project to remove a UK wall that was built to stop British forces invading could have a devastating effect on a nearby golf club.

Guernsey was occupied by German forces for much of World War Two and they built a 950 metre concrete anti-tank sea wall in front of the dunes around L’ancresse Bay in 1942 in order to protect against an amphibious attack.

That wall is now failing and is due to be taken down, with a natural coastline allowed to develop in its place because, according to the local authority’s environment committee, the structure is too costly to repair.

The States of Guernsey don’t class it as a sea defence as it didn’t exist prior to the occupation.

However, Guernsey’s Golf Course Management says the removal of the wall could result in the loss of the 15th hole at L’Ancresse Golf Club, as well as causing problems for other local facilities.

Spokesman Shaun McDade said removing the sea defence will have a ‘significant impact’ on the golf course and he hopes that ‘public pressure’ could halt the plans.

“We are also talking about the loss of the kiosk, the loss of the toilets, the loss of the slipway,” he said.

“All of this effects people far beyond the 1,300 members of this golf club. We’re hoping that public pressure will persuade the environment department to re-look at their plans.”

Barry Brehaut, president of Environment and Infrastructure in Guernsey, has described his claims as ‘alarmist.’

“It’s scaremongering if I’m honest, and a little bit alarmist,” he said.

“If you look at an aerial shot of the land it would have to be 80 or 90 metres to get to where the water would encroach. That would be quite some catastrophe – it’s simply not going to happen.”

A statement from the States of Guernsey’s Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services says:

‘Subject to planning consent and funding being secured, two protective rock groynes would be constructed, one close to the kiosk and one 200 metres to the west, near the rock outcrop.

‘Prior to World War Two the 1km wide bay at Pembroke / L’Ancresse was backed by sand dunes and the removal of the tank wall between the two rock groynes would allow the redevelopment of a sandy beach in a controlled manner.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 22, 2017 16:32
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