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12 May 2020LYNEMOUTH POLLUTION

WORK IS TO START on tackling historic Lynemouth pollution. Funding to kick-start the clean-up of historic pollution on the coast at Lynemouth has been agreed by Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet. After decades of colliery spoil tipping, the erosion of Lynemouth Bay has accelerated in recent years, revealing sites of historic waste previously buried within the cliffs.  Over the last year, the County Council has been working to investigate the extent and makeup of this waste material, which has included detailed site investigations, sampling and laboratory testing.

Estimates suggest the project could cost in the region of £7.5m. The Council has already made financial provision of £2.5m when it set out its financial plans for the next three years at its meeting in February this year. Now the County Council’s Cabinet is to release an initial £500,000 so that essential pre-construction activities can be progressed this year. This will enable environmental reporting, design and ground investigation works to progress so the council can secure the necessary consents required to carry out the main works in 2021. While the pre-construction activities will be funded entirely by the County Council, additional sources of funding are being sought to support the main work.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “We’ve spent the last 18 months working to understand exactly what we are dealing with and what the best solution is to tackle this long standing historic pollution issue. It’s going to be a major undertaking to extract all the harmful rubbish and safely remove it from the site, but we are committed to doing this to tackle the pollution issues once and for all and to restore this stretch of coastline to its former glory. This initial funding will allow us to carry out some key bits of work and pave the way for the main scheme next year.”

Since the problem was identified a number of temporary measures were introduced in the area. These include air monitoring, the temporary diversion of the England Coastal Path and continued pollution clearance.  The County Council has been doing additional clean-up visits on the beach to remove any waste materials that are washing out from the site. 

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