Residents in seaside town demand council does more to manage impact of windblown sand
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
Residents living on in a seaside town have submitted a petition to the local authority calling on it to do more to manage the problem of windblown sand.
Conwy’s economy and place scrutiny committee received the petition from two residents living near Llandudno’s West Shore beach.
Brenda Irving and Barbara Sandbach who are members of the Friends of West Shore, presented the petition and spoke at the council chamber at Bodlondeb.
Both are ex-hoteliers and claim sand from the dunes is spreading to pavements, roads, and pathways, bringing down the area and causing obstruction to pedestrians, especially those with disabilities.
“We do feel very strongly about this problem, having spoken to numerous visitors and locals and residential people who live beside the West Parade, plus regular visitors who just love the West Shore, the views, the mountains, sea, and magnificent sunsets,” Ms Irving said.
“The neglect of many areas is now very evident.
“Please do not let this get worse. Windblown sand is blocking waterways, walkways, paths either side of the sea wall.
“The paths off the seaside wall are unpassable for many users. It is impossible for families with prams, people in wheelchairs, many walkers using walking aids; all these, of course, like to be near the sea and the sands.
“Windblown sand is now prominent in all areas of the promenade, settling underfoot of almost all the benches where weeds are growing permanently in the sand where dogs urinate, making unhealthy smelling seating unattractive and neglected. People have spent money placing these memorial benches to respect their deceased loved ones.
“They all have a look of neglect. This surely needs attention quickly.”
Chairing the meeting, Cllr Mike Priestley said: “My understanding is, when we have cleared the sand, we would get a licence, and we would distribute (the sand) on the low watermark (of the beach) and then at least it would be washed and wet twice a day.
“My understanding at the moment – and officers may correct me – is that once the windblown sands are blown over the sea defence and onto the road, it is classed as detritus.
“So we can no longer just put that on the beach. We’d have to look at that as detritus and dispose of it in that way.
“But I think you’ve made that point really well, and I will hand that petition to offices and would expect them to get a response to you.”
Cabinet member for the environment Cllr Goronwy Edwards said officers would now look at the problem.
Cllr Louise Emery added: “It is not just about sand on the roads. When it goes down into the houses, it gets into people’s boilers and doors.”
Cllr Harry Saville also added: “It is an issue I know that I have certainly raised repeatedly with officers and cabinet. I think most people would accept there probably isn’t a silver bullet to deal with the problem of windblown sands.
“I think most people will love to understand the financial pressures the council is facing. But there is definitely very real merit, and I was really pleased to hear Cllr Goronwy say the officers would go away and consider it.
“I think that’s the answer at the moment, that the council looks seriously, considers it, and comes back to council and says this is maybe what we can do to improve the situation.”
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