RESIDENTS have called on Southend Council to replace sand it takes from Shoebury Common Beach.

Bathers and beach hut owners fear too much sand is disappearing from the beach and have called on the authority to restock it.

The council denies sand is dwindling – and even claims long-shore drift is causing it to build up.

Peter Lovett, of campaign group the Friends of Shoebury Common, said: “The council keep removing sand on a commercial basis from the common, which has then allowed serious eroding behind the 324 beach huts on the sand.”

Photographic evidence appears to suggest sand is disappearing from the beach, exposing more of the seawall, rocks and stilts supporting beach huts.

Councillor John Lamb, deputy leader of the council, said: “There is no question of sand erosion from Shoebury Common beach. Sand accumulates there due to longshore drift.”