Over recent months, members have reiterated concerns about the situation, which worsened during the floods earlier this year. Concerns have also been raised about an exposed pipe in the area.
The council wrote to the Estates about the situation and it has now received a reply – but it is not good news.
The letter from the Estates, which was read out by clerk Elaine Brown at last Thursday’s meeting, states that the company will not undertake any work for coastal erosion at the site, between The Stanners and Bridge End House.
The letter states: ‘If the residents, visitors or parish council would like to deal with the bankside erosion then please let us have your proposal and we will review this. The Estate is not going to undertake work here. If there are issues with sewage, then it is up to whichever party the sewage comes from to deal with it, not the Estate. Erosion is a natural occurrence and, I repeat, if the parish council or the Environment Agency wish to undertake works they must apply to the Estate to do so. The Estate does not intend to undertake any work here.’
In response, Coun John Hobrough said he will speak to a lawyer about the Estates’ position and said the Environment Agency should receive a copy of the Estates’ letter.
He added: “Let’s be quite clear, the bank is cracking again and we could lose another foot in the next flood. There are dwellings and the church wall along that bank. I would like to know what the responsibility is.”
Miss Brown said Northumbrian Water is monitoring the situation.