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MP raises concerns over eroding landfill site at Northam Burrows

PUBLISHED: 14:54 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:19 29 January 2018

Lynn Martin captured these photos of the erosion on Northam Burrows.

Lynn Martin captured these photos of the erosion on Northam Burrows.


Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox has raised concerns ‘to the highest level’ after storm damage at Northam Burrows.

The MP for Torridge and West Devon has raised concerns over a breach of the old landfill site on Northam Burrows.

The site was damaged during Storm Eleanor, exposing the edge of the landfill site, and with the next round of spring tides looming, Mr Cox has called for action.

He said: “Over the past 10 years, a policy of ‘managed retreat’ of the pebble ridge has been enforced by Natural England.

“As a result the landfill site has been brought significantly closer to the beach and following damage by recent storms it is, understandably, causing significant concern amongst my constituents and local business owners.

Lynn Martin captured these photos of the erosion on Northam Burrows. Lynn Martin captured these photos of the erosion on Northam Burrows.

“I am disappointed that despite continued calls for action by local councillors, the coastal defence committee and residents, the statutory authorities have not been motivated to protect the site and the local community. Inaction, in this particular site, is dangerous and the warnings are clear.”

Mr Cox said he has escalated the matter ‘to the highest level’ by contacting the Environment Agency, Natural England and Devon County Council.

Councillor Jane Whittaker, leader of Torridge District Council, said: “Following recent storms and their impact we have already taken the initiative and arranged initial meetings to discuss both the old Devon County Landfill site and also how affected local businesses such as the Golf Club can best be supported.

“A further review meeting involving all agencies including the Environment Agency is in the process of being scheduled.

Lynn Martin captured these photos of the erosion on Northam Burrows. Lynn Martin captured these photos of the erosion on Northam Burrows.

“We want to reassure the public that there is a long term strategy for management of the pebble ridge and protection of the old landfill site.

“This is set out in the Shoreline Management Plan which is available in the Northam Burrows section of the Torridge District Council website.

“As the Coastal Protection Authority and current landowner, Torridge District Council has responsibility for the protection of the coastline in this area.

“Devon County Council has an ongoing responsibility for the now redundant landfill site as the Waste Body that created and managed it while it was in use.

“We have worked well together in the past when there has been similar erosion incidents and jointly funded works to protect this area where permitted and under guidance from Natural England and the Environment Agency.

“Both councils clearly want to protect this very sensitive and designated site.”

A spokesman for Devon County Council added: “Torridge District Council is leading on the protection of the landfill site through its responsibilities for coastal flooding and as owners of the majority of the site, and we continue to work with them including helping to fund works when necessary.”

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