“This is unacceptable. Our beach has literally and figuratively been turned into a mess.” Former mayor Michel Landuyt is not pleased with the rubble that disfigures the beach near the new casino. The Maritime and Coastal Services Agency (MDK) also pointed this out to the client. Current mayor Jean-Marie Dedecker is not amused with the criticism. “This is nothing more than a sour reaction.”
Tuesday 28 November 2023 at 23:10
It was with an unmistakable message and a series of photos that former mayor Michel Landuyt set the alarm. “During a walk on the beach, I had one surprise after another,” says Landuyt. “Our beach and not the new casino is our greatest tourist capital. And that beach has now largely been recreated in a mess of countless debris, not to mention what is under the sand and will one day come back to the surface.”
“This is certainly an attack on nature and walking there also entails risks. There are still meters-high piles of rubble that continue to erode into the sea every day because there is no protection whatsoever. I find it unacceptable that such a scandalous situation is kept silent and it worries me,” says Michel Landuyt.
The beaches on our coast belong to the operating area of the Agency for Maritime Services and the Coast (MDK). “The rubble on the beach is a direct result of the activities of the Middelkerke casino project,” MDK responds. “It is not us, but the municipality that is the client. During the construction phase, we already informed the client and the builder of the established pollution of the beach. Cleaning remains a continuous point of attention for us, also in the coming years,” it says. (Read more below the photo)
According to MDK, the contractor has already taken measures within the project. The municipality is responsible for the management of the beach and must take the necessary actions. Also according to MDK, the contractor will again clean the beach with a beach cleaner and remove debris. An additional problem, however, is that the tide continuously spreads the rubble, causing it to resurface in various locations – including outside the casino project area.
Mayor Jean-Marie Dedecker (Lijst Dedecker) is not amused with the allegations made by his predecessor, and that is putting it mildly. “Have you seen what kind of project is being realized there?” he fulminates. “A new casino and a new sea wall. There is a lot of work going on there.”
“It is of course unavoidable that such monumental works also cause rubble waste. But the contractor whose responsibility is to clean it up is continuously working on it. Once the work is over, it will no longer be noticeable. However, we do not have to look far for the reason why Landuyt comes forward with this. Purely politics and acidification. By the way, there has not been a single complaint about this yet,” concludes an angry Dedecker.