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'A pleasure to see an angle grinder' - Gates at beach that were blocking access are removed

PUBLISHED: 12:05 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:46 06 August 2019

Gates at West Runton beach have been removed. Picture: Helen Evans

Gates at West Runton beach have been removed. Picture: Helen Evans

Archant

The gates that were blocking the main access to a popular Norfolk beach have been removed.

Gates at West Runton beach have been removed. Picture: Helen EvansGates at West Runton beach have been removed. Picture: Helen Evans

Fisherman David Chambers erected the security fence and gates at West Runton beach about a week ago.

He said he did it for health and safety reasons but many beachgoers were furious and took to social media to vent their fury.

Mr Chambers said yesterday that he could not comply with a notice from North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to remove part of the gate within seven days.

But beachgoers arrived today to find that the gate had been removed.

People protesting against gate at West Runton beach. It has now been removed. L-R, Bev Burnham, Liz Quigley, Nigel and Teresa Turner. Pictures: David BalePeople protesting against gate at West Runton beach. It has now been removed. L-R, Bev Burnham, Liz Quigley, Nigel and Teresa Turner. Pictures: David Bale

Resident Helen Evans said: "The metal gates and fence have been taken down by various members of David Chambers' family.

"It was a pleasure to see an angle grinder take them down and dispose of them. The family say they went against his wishes to remove them, but they had simply had enough of so many people being against them."

The district council wrote to Mr Chambers giving him seven days to remove the part of the gate on its land.

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A council spokesman later added that, if Mr Chambers did not remove the gate within that timescale, it would take the appropriate actions accordingly to have it removed.

The removal of the gates has been welcomed by Sarah Butikofer, leader of NNDC, who said: "I'm delighted that the fencing and gates at West Runton have been removed and that access to the Blue Flag beach at West Runton has been returned to its former inviting state."

She added: "The council will ensure we always act to protect the rights of all to enjoy free access to our beaches."

Mr Chambers, 72, said previously that the authority did not own any of the land he had put the gate on.

He said: "The gates were put up as a symbol that the land is not a public right of way."

He said, however, that he was willing to negotiate.

He claims his vehicles have been damaged on the beach.

Mr Chambers did not wish to comment about the removal of the gates.

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