Environment secretary steps in to re-designate land so building work on new station can begin

Work on a new lifeboat station at Shoreham on the south coast can now begin after the environment secretary, Hilary Benn, stepped in to settle a land dispute.

The existing Shoreham station, built in 1933, is in dire need of replacement thanks to a crumbling slipway, little space for training and frequent flooding at high tide.

The RNLI launched an appeal to raise £1m towards the cost of a new station, but the plan got bogged down after concerns were raised over the site chosen for the building.

The land on which it was due to be built was designated as a village green. But yesterday, following an appeal from Adur Council, Benn approved a move to de-register the land as a village green.

With permission granted, the RNLI expects work on the new station to begin in January.

Shoreham’s lifeboats will be temporarily housed nearby while the building work is ongoing, and their emergency response capacity will not be affected, the RNLI said.

Peter Huxtable, coxswain of Shoreham lifeboat, said: “This is just fantastic news. It has been a long and winding road to get to this point, with a few false starts along the way. But I am pleased to say that all the negotiations, concerns and planning issues have been resolved – this means green for go for Shoreham.”