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Fisherman blocks vehicle access to beach with new gate

PUBLISHED: 07:57 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:53 31 July 2019

A gate being erected at West Runton beach. Pictures: Bev Burnham

A gate being erected at West Runton beach. Pictures: Bev Burnham

Archant

A fisherman has erected fences blocking vehicle access to a popular north Norfolk beach.

A gate being erected at West Runton beach. Pictures: Bev BurnhamA gate being erected at West Runton beach. Pictures: Bev Burnham

Fisherman David Chambers, from Briston, said that the gates/ fences were being installed at West Runton for health and safety reasons.

But Norfolk police officers and representatives from North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) were called to the site on Monday morning (29) following complaints.

Mr Chambers, 72, who has been a fisherman for more than 50 years, said: "The fence is perfectly legal as we have rights of passage over the quay. It's not a public right of way.

"We have suffered in the past with gear being stolen from the beach and holes being knocked in boats.

Fisherman David Chambers.  Picture:: Steve AdamsFisherman David Chambers. Picture:: Steve Adams

"We have put the gate up for health and safety reasons, as there's a 12ft drop there, and it enables fishermen to lock it and to secure gear.

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"It's not there to stop the public using that path, and it's not blocking access to the beach."

However, Bev Burnham, who has a holiday home at nearby Laburnum caravan park in Water Lane, West Runton, said: "I can't believe he's put it up. It's on the main slipway down to the beach, which people use. No emergency vehicles can go down now, which could be dangerous.

"This is the main slope to the beach, and you cannot go around it."

A council spokesman said: "We are aware that a local fisherman has erected some fencing at the entrance of West Runton beach.

"We do not own the land in question but we have been assured that the beach will remain accessible to all. The council will keep an open dialogue with the fisherman to ensure that this accessibility is maintained."

Mr Chambers was previously in a dispute with the district council over a patch of land beside the pavilion at the café car park in West Runton.

He argued the land had been used by fishermen for so long they could lay claim to it. 
Do you think Mr Chambers is within his rights to erect the fence/ gates? Email reporter David Bale at david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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