Sedgemoor District Council has issued a statement to clarify a comment made during a council discussion this week regarding local residents’ concerns about the decision to close Berrow beach to vehicles over the winter months.
Burnham-On-Sea.com first reported here that the council says it’s closed the beach to parked vehicles until next April on safety grounds due to the beach wardens ending their duties for the season on September 30th.
A petition that was launched by local resident Rita Morgan calling on the council to re-open the beach to local cars has attracted over 1,400 signatures.
A spokeswoman for Sedgemoor District Council told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Friday: “Following on from Sedgemoor’s decision last week to close the beach gate at Berrow, the Deputy Leader of the council fielded some questions about the closure at the Full Council meeting this week.”
“The Deputy Leader was asked whether vehicles have been restricted from accessing the beach in previous winter periods, and after reading a statement she said that the beach gate was closed last year and went on to say “it’s a regular thing”.”
However, the council spokeswoman adds: “Sedgemoor understands that this comment has the potential to cause confusion to residents and we would like to confirm that the gate was closed last year for the first year.”
“The decision has been taken by the Council to close the beach gate throughout the winter months for several safety reasons. It is not a decision taken lightly and we appreciate that many people would wish to see it open for the parking of cars all year round.”
“However, there is no restriction for pedestrian access to the beach through the winter months, so those wishing to walk dogs or take horses onto the beach or simply to go for a walk would be able to park on the beach road or locally and walk onto the beach.”
“Once the additional car park has been constructed, vehicles will be able to park off the beach road to allow for safer parking, which will also enable better access to emergency vehicles should the need arise.”