Porth residents and traders up in arms as sand from beach blowing into their homes and businesses
RESIDENTS and traders in Porth are up in arms after sand on the beach was allowed to build up and is now blowing into their homes and businesses.
The tide has pushed the sand so far up the beach that it has settled in a heap against the 12ft sea wall and is building higher each day – and blowing into the homes and businesses above.
The news comes following 18 months of campaigning by Porth Residents' Association, who say fewer tourists will visit the resort if Cornwall Council, which owns the beach, fails to maintain it.
John Fitter, Cornwall councillor for Colan and St Mawgan, said it was "totally appalling" and that the sand needs to be cleared.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"If not maintained the sand will go over the wall and continue to build up in people's gardens," he said.
"If it was left for 50 years you would find the houses buried in the sand.
"With the heavy rain the river has been so full that it has scoured away all the sand under the bridge and revealed the old bridge works.
"Cornwall Council is hoping to find some money and get a contractor down there to pull the sand back."
Treasurer of Porth residents' association Roy Major said Restormel Borough Council used to grade it and ensure the sand was spread evenly over it but since the creation of a unitary authority this no longer happens.
He said: "The residents' association continues liaising with the council because we feel that Porth beach – our most valuable tourist asset – is not being maintained to its full potential.
"It is a big issue that has been going on for about 18 months.
"Restormel used to come down with diggers, take all the sand from the back sea wall and spread it all over the beach and up the top promenade so that it would not build up.
"Now we have a unitary authority with a lot of beaches to manage it does not have the funding to do it."
He said the river – which usually goes straight down one side of the beach – now has bends in it and is trying to change its course.
"Sooner or later the beach is going to be divided in half," he said.
Manager at the Mermaid Inn Kathy Wason said that a "giant crater-like hole" formed on the beach last year and 120 tonnes of sand had to be removed from the car park. She said sand blows into the car park and eating area.
"It causes problems with people walking across the top end and it makes it dangerous for people walking down the steps," she said.
A Cornwall Council spokeswoman said it has a "duty of care" to monitor beaches and ensure "significant hazards" are managed, however, she added that to move or remove sand during the winter "when it is likely to quickly return is ineffective, and, in these times of budgetary pressures, not the best use of taxpayers' money".
"If we believe any aspect of the beach, such as a build-up of sand, poses a hazard to property, we would intervene. However, it is important to note that sand essentially acts as a buffer against waves and tides, absorbing their energy and potential erosion."
She said the river bursting its banks is due to recent heavy rainfall and the accumulation of sand on a beach is "natural" and "expected" in locations exposed to waves, tides and strong onshore winds.