Tuesday, 15 April 2014

FREDs Redcar Beach inspection 9th April 2014 - Complaint part 7

FRED have been back on Redcar beach examining the building debris with the Environment Agency (EA),  Birse (now Balfour Beatty) and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council (RCBC). 

The rubble and materials left over along Coatham and Zetland from the Coastal Defence project is a real eyesore and a hindrance to Redcar's tourism, residents, businesses, visitors and event organisers. 


To progress the complaint, FRED met officials on the 9th April to find a way forward. Carl Quartermain and Angela Garbutt of FRED showed Alan Cadas and James Mead of the EA, Simon Kirtlan of Birse and Stuart Ainsley of RCBC the extent of the problem with a beach walk that stretched from the TunedIn building in Coatham to The Stray in Zetland.

Redcar Beach has so much potential. It's tough sand is ideal for numerous events. Long panoramic  shots look great but don't reveal areas unbecoming of a vibrant and forward thinking seaside town.

FRED believes there is a total lack of care and a 'degeneration' to the beach area that's been going on for years but incredibly has been exasperated following the 'regeneration' work.

 Carl Quartermain, FRED Chairman said, "The main point we wanted to demonstrate was that the problem isn't down to tidal drift or the consequences of years of development. Much of the rubble is left over from the breakup of the previous seafront as well as materials Birse used to build the new one. Many pieces are far too large to have just floated here in any case.

During preparation for the Atonement movie  there was a clear beach. Bottom Left  of this picture is a slipway that has subsequently been broken up. Many remnants of this, as well as the previous defence, seafront paving and brickwork from Coatham to Zetland remain on the beach.

"If what we are looking at is tidal drift or from decades of development then it shouldn't discriminate from distributing itself in the only section that is clear of this problem along the new defences - the commercial area along the Esplanade.

"Before the breakup of the previous defences and the Turner Street slipway, the East side of the Regent Cinema was rubble free. Today it resembles a building site.

"What we have is a stockpile of rubble, bricks, felt, building sand and building fabrics from the bandstand next to the boating lake all the way around the Regent and up to the Beacon. 

Redcar beach is dogged by this fabric which shows up at Coatham and Zetland and is often half buried and impossible to shift by hand

FRED Redcar - Friends of Redcar
Redcar Beach when LEO's was where the Beacon stands today families would set up wind breakers and bathe around this point. Today unless they want to be sat amongst building rubble and fabrication they just wouldn't bother.

"When LEO's was where the Beacon stands today families would set up wind breakers and bathe there. Today, this isn't comfortably possible. 

"Before the work, families could typically bathe anywhere along the coastline right up to The Stray. Unless you don't mind sitting on the stepped defences in your shoes looking out on broken bricks and concrete, it'snow only possible at two points; Majuba (where incidentally no regeneration work took place) and of course the Esplanade, commercial area. 

Inexplicably clear of the rubble that is
found either side of this commercial area

"Remarkably the rubble inexplicably clears, to a CLEAN section of beach in front of the 'commercial area' where unsurprisingly no demolition took place and the new defence steps were built over the previous defences.

"This clear sand area remains until the Zetland museum area. Then another trail of building materials begins which continues onto The Stray where regeneration work also took place. The Zetland area can only be described as a landfill.

"During the inspection Birse vowed to provide a couple of workmen and spend a couple of days with FRED on the beach. However they have stated they will not bring mechanical diggers.

"We appreciate all the help we can get but made it quite clear that this wouldn't even scratch the surface." Carl said. 

Building felts are found all over along with buried concrete and bags of building sand

"Our own efforts have removed around 40 tonnes of material and we're nowhere near shifting it. We've determined that land clearance for the beach using heavy machinery would cost between £700 and £1000 per day and would be required on at least eight sections of beach and possible take up to two weeks.

"We have asked The RCBC, the EA and Birse to help us find a solid solution and suggested providing FRED the funding to order the clean up ourselves. 

"To be honest they all appear to be at a loss as to what to do, in relation to any real clean-up operation following the celebrated and extensive Flood Alleviation work they've done. 

"On the face of it both the RCBC and EA are seemingly allowing Birse who are advertised as a responsible contractor, to leave Redcar having buried all manner of building materials along the coastline from Coatham to Zetland. Why? 

"Because following the £30 million+ regeneration of the seafront, cleaning the beach afterwards and truly realising Redcar's potential as a tourism hotspot was overlooked, unplanned for and subsequently buried along with the masonry - to Redcar's detriment and shame."

We'll keep you posted. For the full transcript of our ongoing complaint, click on here

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