A BID to revitalise a once-picturesque sandy beach which used to be a magnet for tourists has been revealed.

Huge amounts of sand have been lost to the sea in recent years at Dunbar’s East Beach –with an unsightly mix of seaweed and rock now dominating the shore.

Residents have long called for action to combat the beach erosion and now plans for groynes, a breakwater and rock armour have been drawn up in a bid to reverse the trend.

The proposed works, which have been formulated by East Lothian Council, include repairing or replacing an existing groyne on the south of the site that has fallen into disrepair.

A rock groyne would be created at the northern end of the beach, opposite the junction with The Vennel, with a concrete groyne towards the south, while a rock breakwater would also be included.

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said: “It is hoped, by reducing the wave conditions at the beach combined with the refurbished groyne, the bay will retain more sediment and in the long term provide improved protection to the existing sea defence wall and regain the amenity value that has been lost in recent years.”

The work is split into four sections, with the refurbishment of the existing groyne acting to retain beach level in the area as it is currently.

Secondly, the breakwater, in addition to providing direction protection to a limited section of the defence, will allow an assessment of capacity for a natural beach to be developed. It will also advise on any further, long-term solution to the issues at the beach.

The groyne at the northern end of the beach will provide protection over part of the northern section of the seawall, with the potential to develop a higher beach in front of the wall.

Finally, armour stones will be put in place along Lamer Street to protect the seawall.

Discussions on how to revitalise the East Beach, which was once a popular tourist attraction, have been ongoing for more than five years.

Pippa Swan, chairwoman of the town’s community council, has been heavily involved in the talks to find a solution.

She was hopeful the latest measure would help and told community councillors: “The rock breakwater, the design has been worked on for more than two years.

“It is now the preferred design solution and is the subject of a planning application.

“There has been a lot of chatter about the East Beach and I wanted you all to be aware of what is going on and to be able to speak with some authority.”

Stones weighing anywhere between three and six tonnes will be used as part of the project, with work expected to take place throughout the summer and into the autumn.

Mrs Swan was expecting heavy machinery to be on the site and said: “It will require big machines, at least 45-tonne trucks, moving these rocks around.

“The East Beach will be the site of quite a lot of activity over the summer and we are bound to get some negative comments. But, hopefully, people will recognise this is an endeavour to protect the sea wall, which has failed three times in the last year.”

Ward councillor Norman Hampshire was also at the meeting and was pleased to see steps being taken in a bid to revitalise the beach.

He said: “Experts have said this is the best option to accumulate sand in this area but nobody can give any guarantees. It is nature we are playing with and it is whether sand is brought into the area.

“There has been talk about importing sand but the costs are huge and it could be washed away the next day.”