A campaign to help improve the water quality in the Gannel Estuary have received a setback.

Pentire Residents Association, which aims to secure designated bathing water status for the popular swimming area, is disappointed the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is suspending all applications for 2025.

The group hopes it will only be a delay and that the extra time will help build its case. The nearest beach that is currently monitored is Crantock around the corner from the Gannel.

Pentire Residents Association believes it is important the estuary is regularly monitored as the information could be used to see if water quality is improving and to inform people about short-term issues around bathing water quality.

It follows concerns sewage is pumped into the Gannel Estuary, especially when there has been a lot of rain.

A spokesperson for the resident’s association said: “DEFRA has announced it is suspending all applications for Designated Bathing Water Status for 2025.  This obviously impacts the PRA's ongoing designated bathing water status campaign for the Gannel. 

“Applications will reopen for the 2026 season, the timing, and details for which to be confirmed. 

“Surfers Against Sewage, who have been very helpful in providing information and guidance, have appealed to DEFRA to keep 2025 applications running but were told no applications will be considered until the 2026 process begins.

“This added delay is very disappointing for all who live and visit the coasts of Newquay. However, we look forward to seeing the updated guidance, which we hope will enable us to secure designated bathing water status for The Gannel as quickly as possible.

“Our work will not be wasted as it’s a delay rather than a denial. We intend to press on. 

“DEFRA states it is reviewing the current regulations and will be conducting a public consultation on proposed changes.”

Pentire Resident’s Association is due to carry out a consultation with various stakeholders including residents and businesses as part of the bathing water status application.

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