Residents claim sand work is damaging sea wall defences
COUNCIL staff clearing sand from sea wall defences are causing more harm than good, it has been claimed.
East Lindsey District Council workers have been removing sand from a 200 metre stretch of defence walls at Sutton on Sea.
But resident Ian Wild, who is also a town councillor, believes that heavy machinery being used is causing damage to the walls.
“None of this is deliberate and the work is full of good intentions,” he said.
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“This year they have cleared the trench in front of the walls at least four times.
“The problem is they go on there with large equipment and when they go to move the sand they keep bashing the wall.
“They are degrading the strength of the concrete wall and in places it is crumbling.
“I even picked up a chunk of concrete that had fallen off and reported it to the environment agency.
“In my opinion, the damage needs to stop. They need to rethink and either invest in machines that are more suitable or leave it be.
“I think they should be using rubber skirts on the bottom of their equipment to minimise the damage.”
Mr Wild believes that the accidental damage could have long lasting effects.
“If the coast was to be battered by a storm and the sand is scooped away the damaged wall is exposed,” he said.
“And as it isn’t as strong, it just won’t be able to do the job it is meant to do.”
East Lindsey District Council has said the machinery they use for the work is the only suitable equipment.
Danny Wilson, street scene area manager, said: “A small amount of damage has been caused to the sea wall this year through the use of heavy machinery, such as tractors and Bobcats, which it is necessary to use to remove thousands of tonnes of sand from the pathway.
“Unfortunately, while working in such a difficult and confined area with heavy machinery, some damage may occasionally occur.
“Realistically, this is the only type of equipment that can be used for the job and we are as careful as we can be during the sand clearance works.”
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We are aware of the situation at Sutton-on-Sea and are liaising with East Lindsey District Council to ensure the flood wall along this part of the coast continues to protect people.”