Anger as mud is dumped on holiday beach

PUBLISHED: 09:53 27 March 2013

A digger dumps cliff fall debris onto  Seaton beach. Photo by Ian Barradale.

A digger dumps cliff fall debris onto Seaton beach. Photo by Ian Barradale.

© 2013 - Ian Barradale

But council defends the tipping of cliff-fall debris on Seaton’s pebble beach as a ‘cheaper and greener’ way to remove the waste

Council chiefs have come under fire for allowing tons of mud to be dumped on Seaton beach.

Bulldozers moved in on Monday to start tipping debris from the resort’s crumbling cliffs onto the pebbles at West Walk.

The operation came just two days after volunteers had spent time giving the beach a spring clean.

Local photographer Ian Barradale said that instead of taking the mud away by lorry as it used to do, East Devon District Council had created an eyesore.

“It is the third time this year this has been done,” he said. “The last time was in the week before the Grizzly, with probably 100 tons of debris being ‘fly tipped’ on the beach.

“Again, this was done after volunteers had a beach tidy as part of the GrizFest weekend. Streetscene are saying that the plan is that the tide takes the debris away, which it does on the eastern end of West Walk but not towards the centre – which is why the cliff debris is still there. It will take a big storm tide to take it away from that part of the beach.

“According to Seaton’s mayor Peter Burrows, the plan is for a bulldozer to push the debris down below the tide line. However that was said on the past two occasions and never happened.”

A spokesman for East Devon Council said: “It is both cheaper and greener to avoid using trucks to cart away the material from each cliff fall. On many beaches, nature would take its course and the sea would wash the material away. We are merely employing nature to do the removal job for us and in the process we have saved between £10,000 and £15,000 since July 2012.

“This frees up funding for other essential services and allows us to offer residents better value for money.

“A digger will be clearing shingle from the stepped areas at West Walk and whilst the machine is there it will place the remaining cliff fall materials below the tide line.”

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