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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Dumped chalk 'must be moved'
Builders' waste dumped at Pegwell Bay, Kent
The council said the tide would wash away waste from the beach
A builder has been ordered to move tons of waste he dumped at a beach to protect his home from coastal erosion.

Bernard Baldwin tipped an estimated 100 tons of chalk at a site of special scientific interestat at Pegwell Bay, in Ramsgate, Kent.

He used a JCB to pile some of the material at the top of the cliff face and pour the rest over the edge on to the beach.

Thanet District Council decided on Wednesday to issue an enforcement notice against him.

The authority had been warned by environmentalists that the material could be harmful to birds nesting on the cliff face and to fish.

I will wait until we go before the courts and let them decide - common sense has gone out of the window
Bernard Baldwin

It will now require Mr Baldwin, who is now retired, to restore his land at the top of the cliff to its former state.

However, he will not be ordered to remove material tipped over the edge on to the beach below because the council believes the tide will eventually wash it away.

But Mr Baldwin said on Thursday he would fight the order to remove the chalk.

He said: "I will wait until we go before the courts and let them decide - common sense has gone out of the window.

Recent cliff falls

"No-one's been there - I asked for a site meeting and they've not even bothered."

Mr Baldwin said he had needed to shore up the site after two recent cliff falls because it had been weakened by water used to extinguish a fire at his home.

"It is a site of special scientific interest but the point is that the materials that are put there are consistent with the materials that are already there," he said.

"They were taken from a cliff face and put on a cliff face."

John Kirby, Kent County Council's cabinet member for planning, said the council was likely to take legal action to make sure Mr Baldwin complied with the enforcement notice.

He said erosion at the site could have been worsened by Mr Baldwin's use of a heavy JCB on the cliff edge.


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