The coastal community responded with anguish to plumes of black smoke engulfing the village on Tuesday morning as a flytipper was seen burning rubber on the beach.
A resident was outside gardening when the smell of rubber and a large black cloud of smoke engulfed the neighbourhood.
“I confronted the gentleman and asked what he was doing and if he had permission to be burning carcinogenic materials on the beach. He said he’s been burning for ages and never sought permission,” Mary-Ann Orr said. “There are proper ways of disposing of waste. The recycling centre for example and not a public space.”
Police Scotland was contacted as flytipping is a criminal offence a fixed penalty notice of £200 for anyone caught in the act, running up to £40,000 and the risk of prosecution for those who fail to pay. A spokesperson said: “We’ve attended an incident and enquiries are ongoing.”
Environmental issues have been high on the agenda for the local people of Auchmithie who have been attempting to address the problem for years, with little response.
Mary-Ann continued: “The issues include wild campers and overnight fishermen, who leave rubbish, broken bottles and human excrement on the beach. The buck is always passed and no response has been forthcoming.”
The foreshore of Auchmithie beach has changed ownership over the years resulting in confusion and a lack of responsibility on maintaining it along with the access road.
“The problem with Auchmithie beach is it’s nobody’s problem,” said local Violet Thomson. “The road is in such a bad state the bin lorries can’t get down it. The road doesn’t get fixed because the owners don’t need to use it.”
A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said: “SEPA has received a complaint from a member of the public regarding a number of issues at Auchmithie beach. SEPA is currently investigating this matter in conjunction with Angus Council and Police Scotland.”
Angus Council spokesperson said: “We would encourage people to report anything inappropriate to ourselves or to the SEPA hotline.
“As regards littering on the beach, this can be reported to us via ACCESSLine on 08452 777 778, or at www.angus.gov.uk and we will investigate.”