Who will clear all this sand?

East Lindsey District Council cleared thousands of tonnes of sand from coastal pathways during the recent spell of bad weather.
East Lindsey District Council cleared thousands of tonnes of sand from coastal pathways during the recent spell of bad weather.
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Coastal communities have called on agencies to take responsibility for clearing the huge volumes of sand blown ashore each year by easterly winds.

Following weeks of poor weather, when pathways, promenades and public spaces were blighted by tonnes of sand blown inland, councillors and coastal campaigners have called for clarity over who the responsibility for its removal rests with.

Skegness Town Council agreed on Wednesday to apply pressure on the Environment Agency to take the lead, claiming its Lincshore project, which sees hundreds of tonnes of sand deposited along the coast to form soft sea defences every year, is behind the problem.

Raising the motion, Coun Mark Smith said: “Whilst recognising the need for beach nourishment schemes to protect us from coastal flooding, the unwanted consequences of windblown sand affecting our coastal footways and coastal businesses are unacceptable.”

Skegness resident Malcolm Gabbitas, speaking during the earlier public session, raised similar concerns and called on the whole project to end.

“Its’ about time the practice was stopped,” he said.

The Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Anderson, though conscious of the need for the Environment Agency’s flood defences, agreed ‘they are the agency that is causing these problems’ and supported Coun Smith’s calls for action.

Coastal access campaigner, Paul Marshall, whose team of volunteers spend hundreds of hours each year removing sand from pathways between Skegness and Ingoldmells, raised the problem separately with MP for Boston and Skegness Mark Simmonds.

Although East Lindsey District Council spent 452 man hours removing 2,457 tonnes of sand from coastal paths during a particularly ferocious fortnight last month, Mr Marshall claims the authority and the Environment Agency defer responsibility for the clearance to one another.

Skegness town manager Stefan Krause also told Mr Simmonds that ‘there’s no clarification of responsibilities’ during the meeting held on Friday.

But with much of the Lincolnshire coast belonging to businesses, Butlin’s resort director Chris Baron suggested landowners should also take responsibility, which Mr Simmonds agreed.

”It’s the responsibility of the whoever owns it and if it’s owned by businesses they should take charge,” he said.