Report by Charlotte Richardson , chief reporter
Saturday, July 21, 2012
MARINE experts have been investigating claims the company behind the Weston sea wall project dumped building materials in the water next to Knightstone Island.
North Somerset councillor Tim Marter says he has been approached by a boat operator who says pleasure cruises cannot operate from the bay because of the problem.
He told a full North Somerset Council meeting on Tuesday evening: “There have been allegations that waste has been dumped by the company who did the sea wall project.”
Birse Coastal carried out the work on Weston’s sea wall and was given the contract about seven years ago.
Council executive member for the environment, Peter Bryant, says he is aware that there is rubble around Knightstone harbour.
But he says director for development and environment, David Turner, has told him the Marine Maritime Organisation has investigated the issue and says the situation is ‘satisfactory’.
The Marine Maritime Organisation is a new executive non-departmental public body, established and given powers under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
Mr Turner says the organisation has taken photos, which it says show ‘no significant change’ to the marine environment in the area.
In a statement, read to the meeting on Tuesday, he said: “We agreed Birse could use the Tropicana to store materials.
“It was an entirely sensible arrangement as the council could use any excess materials.”
Birse carried out the £29million sea defence project, creating a new sea wall over a two-year period in order to help protect Weston from future flooding.
The work, which included putting in a splash wall between the promenade and road, was largely funded by Defra’s Flood Defence Grant and was completed in early 2011.