Licensed dredging off Sandown Bay is not impacting the Isle of Wight's coastline, the Island’s MP says he has been assured.

It follows concern that removing part of the seabed in the Bay area has impacted some of the Island's most popular sandy beaches.

A 2019 report, by the Southern Coastal Group, found erosion had previously been caused by major storms and higher seas, but there have been ongoing fears that work off the Island's coast are making matters worse.

Bob Seely said: “I know that residents are concerned about the dredging currently taking place off Sandown Bay; it concerned me too.

“The evidence I have seen suggests that the marine aggregate dredging is not impacting on the shoreline and that erosion in the area is largely the result of storm activity."

In March, Mr Seely wrote to The Crown Estate, which is responsible for granting dredging licences.

Responding, it said there is evidence that the aggregate deposits on the seabed are actually deposits of sand and gravel, left by ancient rivers.

The Crown Estate said clearing them would not cause significant changes to the coastline.

In a letter to the Island’s MP, The Crown Estate said: “We take our environmental and stewardship responsibilities very seriously, and we continue to work with the British Marine Aggregate Producers Association and the aggregates industry to help support the effective and sustainable management of our seabed, helping to drive a significant long-term reduction in the total area of seabed licensed for marine aggregate extraction.”

Mr Seely said: “I am satisfied that this is a well-regulated industry with regular monitoring in place, and I thank The Crown Estate for taking the time to talk to me.”

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