WORK to repair the promenade at Southwick Beach is underway.
Two groynes were torn apart in the recent storms, leading to the collapse of part of the promenade and gaping holes appearing.
Tony Parker, director of engineering at Shoreham Port, explained: “The big waves took the beach down by up to three metres, so both groynes have gone.
“That has allowed the waves to hit the prom with excessive force and that is why the prom has collapsed.”
Alongside the damaged groynes, the two new groynes put in last year have held up well and Mr Parker said without them, Carats Café would have been at risk in the storms.
He added: “The groynes take the energy out of the waves in a natural way. What the groynes do is keep the beach here, otherwise it would all go east.”
Cllr David Simmons, Adur District Council cabinet member for health and well-being, said work to remedy the issues would take a while, and he asked for the public’s support over the next few months.
“During the recent storms, the sea defences and retaining walls on Southwick Beach and the adjacent car park have suffered considerable damage and it has been necessary to restrict public access to the promenade adjacent to Carats Café,” he added.
“Remedial work needs to be done to replace and weld up some of the metal piling, and to fill voids behind the walls created by the weather, in the interests of public safety.
“Such repairs are expensive and take time, and for their own safety, I would ask our community to be patient and respect the restricted areas during the work.”
Carats Café and the car park are both open as usual, although some parking spaces might be unavailable in areas where work needs to be carried out.
Mr Parker said Shoreham Port normally spends £200,000 a year on coastal protection but this year, it had put in £700,000. Mr Simmons said he had just agreed to Adur releasing £50,000 towards the works.
Plans for flood prevention work are being considered and a public consultation on the coastal erosion risk management strategy is underway. View the plans at Adur Civic Centre in Ham Road, Shoreham, from Monday, March 31, to Monday, April, 7.