Residents have been left disappointed after South West Water pulled out of attending a meeting to discuss community concern about the amount of sewage being pumped into the Newquay coastline.

Andy Pettifer, the company’s waste water operations manager for West Cornwall, was due to attend a Pentire Residents’ Association meeting on Monday, April 15.

However, the water company has since stated Mr Pettifer will not be able to attend as he is not permitted to speak at a public meeting as an operations manager.

South West Water did not offer an alternative.

Pentire Residents’ Association made arrangements for Mr Pettifer to attend its open meeting following particular concerns about the amount of sewage being reportedly discharged into the Pentire area.

He was due to provide information about SWW’s plans to reduce sewage discharges affecting beaches in Newquay, the Gannel Estuary and Crantock Beach.

The residents’ association is due to meet with Mr Pettifer to discuss its application to the Environment Agency for the Gannel to be awarded designated bathing water status.

The group believes it is important that the popular swimming spot is regularly monitored.

The residents’ association is due to carry out a consultation with various stakeholders including residents and businesses as part of the application.

They will also be working closely with the Gannel landowners to outline the benefits of designated bathing water status.

Pentire Residents’ Association chairman, Murray Johnstone, expressed his disappointment at SWW’s decision not to attend the meeting as the event had “understandably garnered a lot of public interest.”

He said: “Mr Pettifer was to outline SWW’s strategy for amelioration of the dire situation with persistent sewage outflows into the River Gannel and around Pentire and take questions from residents. 

“We will continue to work to get improvement of our local water quality in the area through our discussions with SWW. 

“We are continuing to pursue designated bathing water status for the Gannel. 

“We will be meeting privately with Mr Pettifer within the next couple of weeks to discuss the matter.

"We will naturally report to our members and the wider public the results of that meeting."