“The MOD plans to conduct the next phase of the investigation into ordnance on East Beach, Shoebury on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th June. This is within the timescales agreed at our meeting on 15th May.
“As previously stated, this will be an Explosive Ordnance reconnaissance visit, not a clearance operation.
“A specialist explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team from the Royal Navy Southern Diving group will investigate a number of sample areas across the licensed public area of East Beach, along with a ‘buffer zone’ into the surrounding MOD-managed area.. The work will involve excavation of metallic items which were identified during a previous geophysical survey as potential ordnance but which may not necessarily indicate the presence of live munitions.
“Any ordnance found will be made safe and disposed of by the EOD team.
“Following the work, the MOD’s assessment of the risk from any ordnance will be provided to the council, which will use the information to inform its decision on whether and at what stage the beach can be re-opened.
The MOD plans to meet with the council in mid-June and recognises the need to inform the authority of its revised assessment of the level of risk at the site as early as possible. However the date of the meeting will be dependant on the nature of items found during the Royal Navy Reconnaissance.
“In addition, the council is currently considering a number of measures, including reviewing signage in the area, in order to prepare for a future re-opening of the beach. Local people and businesses should be assured that both the MOD and the council continue to prioritise this work in recognition of the importance of East Beach to residents, visitors and businesses.”