Southend Borough Council has taken the decision to temporarily close Shoebury East Beach, in consultation with the Ministry of Defence and the Coastguard, after a number of unexploded mortar and artillery shells were discovered on and near the beach.
Whilst the beach is closed, the MOD will carry out a survey of the area to assess the exact risk and potential number of unexploded ordnance in the area.
Andrew Lewis, corporate director for place at Southend Council, said public safety was their “first priority.”
He said: “The MOD have started surveying works which once completed will allow us to properly assess the risk and make an informed decision as to what we do next. We are working with them and pressing them to ensure that this essential work is done as quickly as possible.”
It is thought that the recent bad weather experienced across the country, including high tides and waves, has led to the number of UXO’s being washed up at East Beach.
Andrew added: “It is too early to say at this stage how long the survey work will take, and how long the beach will be closed for.
“We ask for local people’s patience and support during the beach closure.”
A fence has been erected along the top of the greensward at East Beach, closing off access to the sand and sea. Signs have been put up warning visitors not to cross the fence.
All other beaches in Southend will remain fully open.