1. ITV Report

Mount Batten beach closed indefinitely after more asbestos discovered

Mount Batten beach. Credit: ITV News West Country

A popular Plymouth beach has been closed indefinitely after yet more asbestos was discovered on the shore.

Mount Batten beach was temporarily fenced off in April after "a small amount of low grade, low-risk asbestos" was found.

But Plymouth City Council has said the site will now remain closed for the foreseeable future after a "larger amount" was discovered earlier this month.

A sign on display at the beach. Credit: ITV News West Country

Fencing has since been erected stopping people from accessing the beach, which is particularly popular among dog walkers.

The local authority has apologised for the inconvenience but stressed the safety of residents is paramount.

Unfortunately for health and safety reasons, Mount Batten beach will remain closed for the time being, due to asbestos containing materials being found on the beach.

Plymouth City Council is continuing its investigations to understand the extent of the problem and the most appropriate way of dealing with it.

Once again we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but we must emphasise that the safety of our residents is our top priority and until we have resolved the issue, the beach will need to remain closed.

This temporary closure does not affect the South West Coast Path or the rest of the Mount Batten peninsula which are still open to the public.

– Plymouth City Council spokesperson

What is asbestos?

Asbestos can cause serious illness if inhaled. Credit: PA

Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres. If you breathe in these fibres, they can damage your lungs.

Before its dangers were known, asbestos was often used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing and sprayed on ceilings and walls.

It is now banned in the UK. Buildings constructed before the year 2000 may still have asbestos in them.

If the asbestos-containing materials inside these buildings remain intact, they pose very little risk.

It’s only when these materials are damaged or disturbed that tiny asbestos fibres can be released into the air and breathed into your lungs.