A spokesperson for the Southend Seafront Health and Safety Consortium (SSHSC) has confirmed that a by-law has been passed BANNING children from building sandcastles this summer.
The change to the rules will take effect from August 1st between Shoeburyness and Chalkwell, and beach patrol civil enforcement officers will have powers to issue £60 spot fines to any parents whose children are caught.
SSHSC chairman Bill Slip confirmed that the ‘difficult decision’ had been taken because of fears that a sandcastle could subside or collapse entirely, suffocating a child at the same time.
He said: ‘In the past, we have had a number of near misses where sandcastles have become structurally unstable because of wind conditions, incoming waves or seismic activity – a complaint last year from a parent has left us with no other option.’
‘Once the by-law comes into effect from the beginning of August, sandcastle construction will be prohibited, and the same restrictions will apply to hole digging where the depth is greater than 10cm – we are equally concerned over children being trapped underground.’
We asked Mr Slip if the new rules could affect visitor numbers to the new seafront lagoon this summer.
He added: ‘As the lagoon is a dedicated family leisure zone, the restrictions on sandcastle building and similar activities will not apply in the new lagoon area.’
‘There will be plenty of opportunities to buy food and drink around the site as well, along with award-winning tourist attractions within a stone’s throw of the lagoon.’