A RESIDENT dubbed the “dune raider” has branded council demands “absurd” as he bids to bulldoze more of St Annes’ sand dunes.
Dr Brian Newman – who faced a storm of controversy after tearing down the 50ft sand dune outside his North Promenade home – had joined forces with his neighbours in a bid to remove more of the dunes.
But the plans have now been pulled after Fylde Council demanded a dunes management plan from Dr Newman – something he’s labelled “absurd”.
Dr Newman said: “The recommendations the council have come up with require a maintenance programme for the dunes system for when the work has been done and also for an unlimited period of time which of course, as a private individual, would be difficult to deal with.
“It shouldn’t be necessary because the savings the council would be making in preventing wind blown sand would give them enough money to maintain a few hundred yards of sand dunes. It’s absurd.”
The work would take in the stretch of dunes between Todmorden Road and Bentnick Road, which are partly in the ownership of Dr Newman and his neighbours and partly belong to the council.
Dr Newman wants to move the sand dunes closer to the sea, increase their width and plant vegetation between the dunes and the road, in a move he claims would protect North Promenade from wind blown sand.
But the council has stressed it will not recommend the application be approved without a management plan in place to ensure the sand dunes continue to look as proposed in the application once the initial work has been completed.
Dr Newman added: “We’ve gone to our legal advisors to have a look at how best to deal with that in a mutually beneficial way.
“You can’t put the onus on someone to maintain something when it’s never been maintained to start with.
“Withdrawing the application is only a temporary thing. There’s a lot of support (for the plan) and even authorities which have been somewhat sceptical are now much more understanding.”
A council spokesman said: “We would want to be sure if we give planning permission that it would be maintained in the state in which planning permission is granted.
“There’s a possibility the dune could start spreading again and we would want to know what would be planned to keep it in the condition.”