HC Deb 06 May 1969 vol 783 cc258-9
30. Mr. Milne

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what action he intends taking to assist the Civic Trust, local authorities and other bodies in their efforts to prevent the spoilation of beaches by the removal of sand.

Mr. Sheffington

The Coast Protection Act enables maritime local authorities to submit for my right hon. Friend's confirmation orders prohibiting the excavation of materials from the seashore to protect the coast against sea erosion. In addition, the removal of sand from a beach without planning permission constitutes an offence. These powers appear adequate and it is not thought that further special action is requires.

Mr. Milne

Is my hon. Friend aware that the private ownership of some beaches in Northumberland is leading to the removal of an excessive amount of earth and sand? It is no use letting this situation go on at the same time as the Government are paying grants to beautify the area.

Mr. Skeffington

This is the sort of case where the local authority will have considered a revocation order. If my hon. Friend will get in touch with us about this we shall be glad to give such advice as we can.

Mr. Thorpe

In view of the consideration raised by the hon. Member for Blyth (Mr. Milne), and other equally vital considerations, is there not a strong case for seeing that all beaches, whether at high or low water mark, are brought into public ownership?

Mr. Skeffington

There is a case for moving along the lines of the suggestion by the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe). In fact, this was part, although only part, of the matters investigated by the Maritime Conference.