Northam Burrows: Old Landfill Site

27th January 2018
Local MP, Geoffrey Cox QC, has intervened following concerns raised by constituents and local councillors about the old landfill site on the Northam Burrows. 
 
Mr Cox first raised this matter in 2007 when he lobbied for a recharged pebble ridge which offers protection from the sea's depredations. In 2008 he told the House of Commons “the pebble ridge is an idiosyncratic feature of the area, and it is a precious and protected site, but only the other day we lost 25m of it to erosion.” 
 
The MP urged local authorities to take action, saying: “We have been warning of the serious problem that will confront the responsible authorities because of the presence of the landfill site for many years.  The tides are now creeping relentlessly closer and it is time that appropriate action was taken before there is grave environmental damage.” 
 
Mr Cox pursued the matter with the Department for Environment, Fisheries & Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency, Natural England and Devon County Council. An investigation of the site was later undertaken by the County Council.
 
More recently, following a close succession of damaging storms, Mr Cox was alerted to the renewed danger posed by eroding defences, specifically the breach of the pebble ridge, and incoming spring tides. 
 
Earlier this month, he met Torridge District Councillor, Nick Laws, to discuss the current situation on the Burrows following Storm Eleanor. 
 
Following his meeting Mr Cox 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.”
 
“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.
 
That’s why I have once again raised my serious concerns with the relevant authorities and have made it pointedly plain that the current situation is unacceptable for residents and businesses in Torridge. ”
 
Mr Cox has escalated the matter to the highest level by contacting the Environment Agency, Natural England and Devon County Council. 
 

Surgery Dates

Geoffrey holds regular surgeries. To book an appointment please click here or call 01822 612925.
 
Saturday 14th April
Bideford, Torrington
 
Saturday 21st April
Holsworthy, Tavistock