Help promised for Sunderland Point sea wall plan

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Environment minister Richard Benyon has promised to help resolve the issue of whether a sea wall can be built to protect a Lancashire hamlet.

Conservative MP David Morris told the Commons that residents of Sunderland Point were being blocked from building the wall by government agencies.

He said a wall would help to reduce coastal erosion by 1m (3ft) a year.

Mr Benyon said he would talk to Natural England and the Environment Agency "as a matter of urgency".

In the Commons debate on Monday, Morecambe and Lunesdale MP Mr Morris said: "The community there are well under way of raising the money to actually put a wall of aggregate to stop the wall from eroding.

Slave's grave

"This is not going to cost any money whatsoever to the taxpayer.

"It is a shrimping community and they want to preserve their way of life."

Mr Benyon said: "I give him the firm assurance that I will take the points he raises and I will, if necessary, get him together with the officials whom he believes are holding this matter up.

"I do want to make sure that all agencies of government are working together."

Sunderland Point houses a memorial to a young African slave, Sambo, who is thought to have arrived at the port in 1736.

For years his grave was unmarked, until 1795 when a local schoolteacher raised money for a memorial.

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