Council is a step closer to starting multimillion-pound Lynemouth beach clean-up scheme

Historical pollution at Lynemouth.Historical pollution at Lynemouth.
Historical pollution at Lynemouth.
Major works to tackle historical pollution on the coast at Lynemouth are set to start this summer.

Northumberland County Council has announced that all but one of the necessary regulatory consents have now been secured and the outcome of the final waste processing licence application to the Environment Agency is expected imminently.

The local authority has allocated £5million to undertake the works on its land to clean-up the stretch of coastline and stop harmful deposits and waste leaching into the sea.

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Discussions are continuing with the Environment Agency to finalise the agreements and what will be carried out and in the meantime, work is taking place to remove material, where permissible, following decades worth of historic waste deposits.

So far, around 750 cubic metres of waste which could not be re-instated has been excavated and disposed of. Council teams continue to visit the area weekly to monitor and remove material from the beach where able and safe to do so.

Coun John Riddle, the council’s cabinet member for local services, said: “This major scheme has been a long time in the planning, but we’re hopeful the start of the main works is now near.

“It’s a very technical project involving a number of agencies and we also have to carefully consider the ecological and environmental constraints of working in a sensitive habitat before we can actually start removing the historic waste deposits.”

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Later this month, Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan will be having a tour of the site alongside cabinet members and local councillors to see the extent of the planned work.

Local ward county councillors Scott Dickinson and Liz Dunn said: “We are pleased to see more progress.

“We have always championed the work and continued to ensure it’s at the forefront of thought as it’s such a critical issue to be dealt with, which will prevent further ecological disaster and benefit local people.”

Ms Trevelyan said: “Having spoken to residents and campaigned on this issue for many years, I know how welcome this action is and I look forward to seeing the scheme for myself and hearing more about how the county council is working to ensure this sensitive waste is removed safely so we can all enjoy this beautiful stretch of coastline knowing the pollution problem has been resolved.”