Devon

Mount Batten beach closed after asbestos discovered

Mount Batten beach
Image caption Mount Batten beach has been closed for the foreseeable future

A popular beach has been closed after asbestos was discovered.

Plymouth City Council said Mount Batten beach had been closed for the foreseeable future to enable it to investigate "the extent of the problem".

The local authority said "the safety of our residents is a top priority".

Asbestos was first found at the site in April, with more and larger amounts discovered in May.

June Liew, of the Galley Kitchen on the beach, said the delays had made her "angry" and "frustrated" and was causing her business to lose money.

Ms Liew added she had cut back staff to offset the losses to her business.

Image caption Mount Batten beach is popular with dog walkers

Asbestos was banned as a building material in 1999 but it was regularly used in construction until then and has been linked to serious health conditions.

The initial discovery at the end of April was "a small amount of low grade, low-risk asbestos" the council said - prompting a temporary closure.

Following the discovery of a "larger amount" earlier this month, the authority announced it would remain closed.

On 17 May, council workers said the beach would be closed for the foreseeable future as it investigated "the extent of the problem and the most appropriate way of dealing with it."

The council apologised for the inconvenience, adding: "We must emphasise that the safety of our residents is a top priority and until we have resolved the issue, the beach will need to remain closed."

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