As erosion moves forward, landowners push back

Bruce Bilon stands at the edge of his property on Lakeshore Line in Port Burwell, which is being eroded by Lake Erie. A consultant’s report prepared for Bayham municipal council concluded it would be “unlikely” the municipality could obtain approvals for putting in place protective measures such as a breakwater and that doing so could create additional liabilities for the municipality. (Laura Broadley/Times-Journal)

A consultants’ report on protective measures to reduce the erosion of shoreline properties in Bayham is another blow to landowners.

The report says the municipality would have a difficult time receiving approvals from different governments for a protective measure such as a breakwater.

And if Bayham did get the green light and put in place protection, the municipality could face additional liabilities, the report warned.

Bayham had to close a section of Lakeshore Line between Clarke Road and Elgin County Road 55 as a precautionary measure in April.

Erosion at the edge of the high bluffs has become a safety hazard for the almost 4.5 kilometre stretch of road. A 1.5 kilometre portion of the road has been closed since 2002.

Bruce Bilon, a landowner whose property includes about 1,350 metres of the high bluffs shoreline along Lakeshore Line, said although he can’t say the report is wrong, he said it’s “quite possible” that “shoreline erosion protection facilities” could be approved.

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