Published on by Martin Vessey (author)

Location(s): Hastings

Topic(s): Weather, Geography, Local News, Real Estate

Hastings council has been accused of moving thousands of tonnes of shingle under cover of darkness.

Old Town resident, Sarah Forrest, claims the secret re-landscaping is a conspiracy with developers to influence marina development plans.

Many residents are opposed to the plans which could see 1300 new homes and 600 shipping berths created.

But local fishermen have rebuffed the claim suggesting last week's visit by Storm Ophelia was responsible.

In an astonishing claim by Ms Forrest, who lives close to Rock-a-Nore beach and is vehemently against the proposed development, she said she believed Hastings Council was trying to push the controversial plans through by subterfuge.

Controversial New Marina Plans

Controversial New Marina Plans

"I have been a regular visitor to Rock-a-Nore beach for decades and have never seen the pebbles moved in such a way by weather or tides. I believe that Hastings Council has sent contractors down to the beach under cover of darkness to shift the pebbles so that there is a level base for building that will help get the plans approved".

The beach has changed shape over the last few weeks and rocks that were exposed are now covered in a thick layer of pebbles and shingle.

However local fishermen from the East Hastings Sea Angling Association pointed out that the shingle and pebbles on Hastings' exposed beaches regularly move along the shore in a process known as "long shore drift" and with the recent visit of the violent storm Ophelia, this process was particularly evident.

Rock-a-Nore planned development area

Rock-a-Nore planned development area

Fisherman and boat owner, Charlie Millen said: "Tens of thousands of tonnes of shingle have moved along Rock-a-Nore beach hiding the most prominent rocks and there is no way that movement can have been carried out by machinery and workers overnight without anyone seeing or hearing them. Particularly considering the somewhat blustery weather!"

At the time of publication, Hastings Council were unavailable for comment.


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