Specialists to be consulted over Lynemouth beach pollution

The eroding cliffside at Lynemouth beach, which is exposing old landfill waste.
The eroding cliffside at Lynemouth beach, which is exposing old landfill waste.

Expert advice is being sought on how best to deal with historic pollution at Lynemouth beach.

And Northumberland County Council bosses are seeking a meeting with Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove to discuss options for dealing with the waste.

Some of the waste littering Lynemouth beach pictured during a recent clean-up activity.

Some of the waste littering Lynemouth beach pictured during a recent clean-up activity.

Ongoing coastal erosion has exposed decades-old buried materials and colliery waste – much of it relating to the past legacy of illegal dumping and cable burning that used to take place in this area.

Whilst the local authority continues to monitor the site and carry out regular beach cleans, it will now be speaking to specialists and partners to progress options on the best way forward.

Coun Glen Sanderson, the county council’s cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “We pride ourselves on the beauty of our coastline and beaches, but this is an example of the area’s past catching up with us.

“We’re well aware this is a matter of concern and we need to quickly work out what can be done.

“We’re looking to identify a viable and cost effective solution to these historic problems that doesn’t run into tens of millions of pounds to implement.

“That’s why we’ve agreed to work with a number of experts in this field to see what the options are. We’re also grateful for the support of our local MP and are hoping to raise this issue directly with the Secretary of State to see what Government help could be forthcoming.”

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, whose Berwick-upon-Tweed ward includes Lynemouth, said: “I am supporting the county council in sorting out and making safe the collapsed landfill site at Lynemouth, which is falling onto the beach.

“This contamination onto the beach and into the sea is unacceptable. I am working closely with our county council and working with ministers to find a long-term solution and funding to deal with this urgent issue.

“This Government is committed to leaving our environment in an improved state for our children, and the cleanest oceans.

“For that, we must tackle these historic sites across the country – and most urgently in Lynemouth.”