Councillors in Worthing have vowed to continue their fight to protect the town’s coastline from pollution, after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) denied their recent application for a second designated section of bathing water.
The application, which focused on the section of shore opposite Beach House Grounds, would have seen the Environment Agency undertake regular bacterial testing of the local seawater, helping to identify locations and sources of pollution.
Cllr Vicki Wells, Worthing’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, expressed her frustration at Defra’s decision and pledged to push for tougher checks to ensure the sea can be enjoyed safely by locals and visitors alike.
Worthing Borough Council is awaiting a detailed explanation from Defra as to why the application was rejected.
Despite this setback, gathering of data for a third, separate bathing water application will go ahead as planned for the popular section of beach opposite Sea Lane in Goring.
Cllr Wells thanked Worthing’s dedicated volunteers and council officers who made the initial application possible, and urged citizens to get involved as citizen scientists to help gather data for the upcoming bathing water applications.
“We are committed to ensuring Southern Water does more to identify sewer misconnections and prevent uncertified discharges into the sea,” Cllr Wells said.
Representatives of more than 40 councils across the South East met last month to discuss how they can better hold the water company to account over its failures. Worthing Borough Council remains determined to ensure the sea can be enjoyed safely by all.