Kent

Margate residents claim smelly seaweed damages tourism

The stench of rotting seaweed on Margate seafront is driving away tourists, businesses have claimed.

They want action before the Turner Contemporary art gallery, which is seen as key to the town's regeneration, opens next year.

Steven Roper, who owns a separate art gallery along the seafront, said: "We just need some joined-up thinking."

He said the smell was at its worst when the weather was good, which meant the town was "shooting itself in the foot".

'Putrid factory'

Dr Alasdair Bruce, a Thanet district councillor, said seaweed along the Kent coastline posed a huge challenge.

He said: "We produce an enormous amount of seaweed. For instance, Cornwall produces roughly 900 tonnes a year, we are looking at 6,000 tonnes a year.

"If this was seaweed on a sandy beach, it would just dry up but because you have water sitting here the whole lot becomes a putrid factory of aerobic bacteria romping away.

"Underneath you get this awful sludge being produced and that's where the smell comes from."

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