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Plans to stop broken glass spilling onto Somerset beach approved

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An eroded coastline at Somerset Long Bay East Nature Reserve. (Image from a planning application)

Efforts to prevent erosion at a Somerset beach – and stop the release of broken glass – has been given the green light by the Department of Planning.

The Development Applications Board has approved a plan submitted by Buy Back Bermuda to carry out remediation work at the eastern section of Somerset Long Bay.

The charity said in the application that the erosion had created a risk to public health as the area had formerly been used as a rubbish dump.

The application said: “This erosion has exposed a layer of glass and metal which is currently spilling onto the beach and presenting a hazard to public health.

“The proposed works have been designed to mitigate erosion, stabilise the embankment and protect the pond area during storm events.

“The work, which has been kept to practical minimum, will minimise inundation of the pond during storm events whilst mitigating the spread of glass and fill material along the beach.”

The plans proposed restoring the embankment to its original grade using a biodegradable “weed matting” which will allow native and endemic plants to be planted on the slope.

A planning officer recommended the application be approved.

The officer said in a report to the Development Applications Board: “The proposed management works would help to enhance and protect the ecological characteristic of the Nature Reserve, while providing a natural solution that would not cause any adverse effects to the flora and fauna that inhabit the area.

“The proposal would not be detrimental to the natural or visual quality of the area, rather provide an opportunity for native and endemic species to be established in an area of the reserve.”

Buy Back Bermuda purchased the Somerset Long Bay East Nature in 2005 and carried out extensive work to expand and dredge a pond on the site, which had been partially filled with trash.

However the charity said earlier this year that dumped glass remained buried at the site, and erosion from storms had caused some of the buried glass to be released.

A spokeswoman – speaking after a child suffered a cut to their foot from broken glass in the area – said the charity had volunteers who collected glass from the beach on a regular basis and had organised clean-ups.

The spokeswoman added that it was hoped the remediation work would provide a permanent solution to the problem.

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Published March 11, 2022 at 7:57 am (Updated March 11, 2022 at 7:57 am)

Plans to stop broken glass spilling onto Somerset beach approved

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