‘Dunes are making our lives a misery’

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SAND-BLASTED homeowners have called on the council to cut back dunes which are making their lives a misery.

As 90mph winds battered the Fylde coast during a series of wild storms last month, sand has blown from the dunes on Clifton Drive North into homes on Summerfields, St Annes.

And one resident has been left facing a £5,000 bill for a new roof after the build-up of sand caused a bedroom ceiling to cave in.

Tony Denye, 62, is also having his roof replaced in order to clear out the sand which has built-up underneath the tiles.

He told The Gazette: “When the sand gets blown away it comes at my house and I don’t think the council know how bad the situation is. I have got tonnes of sand in my back garden.

“I pay £30 to have the sand removed every time there’s a storm, but it comes back on a regular basis.”

Enormous dunes dwarf the homes on Summerfields and have grown substantially over the years – enough to cover an 8ft high brick wall in a car park at the back of the street.

Dale Marsh, 74, added: “At one point the dunes used to be cut out but not anymore. It’s such a pain trying to clean it up and it’s back again next week.

“All the sand washes into the gutters when it rains and every time we want something done about it we have to pay.”

Many of the Summerfields residents are elderly and have resorted to paying hundreds of pounds to private firms who clear the sand from their gardens.

Roy Porter, 80, estimates he has paid £400 in three months for the sand to be swept away.

He added: “I’m 80 now and I can’t clear this stuff. I’m very stressed out about it and I can’t use anything outside because it gets full of sand.

“The amazing thing is we are charged an amenity charge for living close to the beach.

“I’m now trying to sell the property which is very difficult because the first problem people see is the sand.”

Joseph Calderwood, 74, says he now dreads strong winds being forecast due to the upset it causes at his home.

He added: “The volume of sand is tremendous.

“I expect to get sand when I live next to a beach, but not to this extent and it’s not being managed.

“All the residents are fed up of it. We are sick and tired of spending money and something needs to be done.”

Fylde Council said the dunes were not the responsibility of the council and cannot be altered without an environmental assessment.

A spokesman added: “The winds have been very strong until this week and it has been very difficult to clear up in the circumstances.

“We will be sending a team to Summerfields either later this week or early next week and have taken on an extra ten people to sweep up from Kirkham Prison.

“Wind-blown sand is a peril.

“It’s a force of nature which can’t be stopped and sand dunes can’t just be moved without environmental assessment.”