A BEACH on the Sunshine Coast has been ruled off-limits after its golden sands were washed away, prompting health and safety fears.

Sunseekers have been stunned to find the sand missing from stretches of beach at Holland-on-Sea and dangerous concrete structures exposed.

Holland Haven beach hut owner, Amanda Read, was astonished to go to her hut and find the sand was no longer there.

The Clacton mum-of-two said: “It was just rubble, estuary mud and bits of metal sticking out of the ground."

So much sand has gone some steps leading from the promenade no longer reach the beach.

Mrs Read added: “We were there at Easter and there was plenty of sand. It was beautiful. A beach doesn’t just disappear without a reason.

“Beach hut owners pay the council hundreds of pounds, but having a beach hut, sort of implies there should be a beach!”

Tendring Council yesterday closed two sections of beach, after inspecting them. The closures affect almost a third of a mile of beach between the Hazlemere Road car park and the Queensway toilets and about 300ft at Holland Haven, near Gunfleet Boating Club.

The council has blamed heavy onshore winds over several days and says it can only wait for the tides to deposit fresh sand before the beach can be reopened.

John Ryan, head of technical services, said cages protecting the base of the sea wall had been exposed and one of the groynes had broken and been taken away.

He added: “We are clearing some of the most dangerous obstructions, where we have access.

“However, it is necessary to close these two sections until such time as a significant depth of beach returns and that is extremely difficult to predict.”

He promised beach hut owners will be kept informed.

Council leader Neil Stock described the situation as “regrettable” but admitted the council could do little about it.

He explained: “This loss of beach has been caused by nature and there is absolutely nothing we can do.

“However, we are taking immediate action to ensure the safety of all beach users by shutting off these sections to the public until further notice.”