EA to target defences

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The agency which Skegness councillors have called upon to take charge of sand clearances from coastal footpaths says it will continue to target sea walls and tidal gates in line with its responsibilities to prevent flooding .

Skegness Town Council recently blamed the ‘unprecedented’ volumes of sand blown ashore during the past few weeks on the Environment Agency’s beach nourishment programme.

Despite acknowledging the need for flood protection, councillors felt the vast quantities of sand dredged offshore to maintain the soft sea defences along the Lincolnshire coast had caused ‘unacceptable’ consequences, which they believed the agency should rectify.

The Environment Agency, however, says it is already using its staff and resources to move around 350,000 tonnes of sand from the sea walls and made no suggestion it would be expanding its clearances to cover footpaths or pathways unrelated to its defences .

A spokesperson for the agency said: “We sympathise with homeowners and businesses who have sand on their property but need them to understand that the Environment Agency’s role is to reduce flood risk to people and property.

“We will continue to focus efforts and resources on the flood defences and tidal gates.

“Our role is to ensure we can effectively carry out our flood risk management responsibilities and support our partners.”

The Environment Agency also said it would continue working alongside East Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council to clear sand and issue property owners with advice.

Sand afflicted residents are recommended to wait until winds have reduced before attempting to clear their properties. Clean sand can be taken back to the beach whereas contaminated sand should go to their local recycling centre.