Concern is growing after more erosion of the former landfill site at Northam Burrows.
Once again high tides have washed away more of the burrows bordering Royal North Devon Golf Club, leaving bare pipes and wires exposed.
Torridge District Council, which is the coastal protection authority, said: “The recent erosion to the western face of Northam Burrows has affected the natural sand dune system, not the man made bank to the north, which continues to afford adequate protection for the former landfill site.”
The council said the pipes shown in the picture are the old conduits for power and telephone cables that used to serve a former coastguard lookout post
The council has been working with Devon County Council, which ran the landfill site until 1990, as well as the Environment Agency and Natural England.
Residents are becoming increasingly alarmed at the scale of the problem. Westward Ho! Derek Sargent said: “I am concerned, as are hundreds of people in Westward Ho! with the state of the sea protection that TDC have put in to stop the sea exposing the rubbish tip.
“They have done a very good job and put the giant rocks, along with sand and pebbles put up to form a ridge that stops the sea eroding the soft sandstone base that surrounds the rubbish tip.
“But if you look along the line of the route you’ll see it’s quite short, a couple of hundreds yards, and further along there are no rocks and no sea wall.”
Adrian Redwood, the council’s property and contracts manager, said: “TDC have been monitoring the beach profiles in conjunction with our partner agencies and are aware of the recent round of erosion that has occurred.
“We are currently working through a series of options for mitigation and remediation measures for the area and continue to seek funding support for the work required.
“In the meantime our supply chain contractors are on standby to assist with any interim works that may be necessary.”
A letter from Natural England, which is a consultee and provides advice on the impact of any proposed developments, has said up to 2025 the strategy was to continue to reduce flood and erosion risk for developed areas along the southern part of Northam Burrows by constructing low embankment/revetment type defences that would reflect the power of the waves.
It said it was hoped to continue to protect the former landfill site by allowing the pebble ridge to roll back and rotate to become more aligned with the dominant wave direction.
A new Facebook group has been set up called ‘Save Northam Burrows beach from erosion’.