PEOPLE in an east Cleveland seaside town have been given the chance to see plans for a controversial sewage plant.

Problems with unpleasant smells and sewage on the beach at Marske have been rumbling for some time now and yesterday Northumbrian Water held an open day at Marske Leisure Centre to allow people the chance to discuss their concerns with engineers from the company.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has called for talks with the water company and is backing the residents and their concerns.

Northumbrian Water is proposing to build storage tanks in the town to hold excess storm water during periods of heavy rain. This would prevent storm water, which contains low levels of bacteria and viruses, overflowing into local watercourses or straight into the sea.

But an action group called Marske (Marske Against Raw Sewage - Klean Environment) claims that the company's proposals will have a devastating effect on local beauty spots but the company says its proposal is the only answer.

Council leader David Walsh said: "We are glad to support the people of Marske in their attempts to try and stop Northumbrian Water steam-rollering a scheme through without adequate consultation and without looking to possible alternative schemes which have been suggested by local townspeople."

Andrew Panting, from Northumbrian Water, said several hundred people visited the Leisure Centre.

"We have done our best to explain the various options but it is fair to say that the people of Marske are not convinced. We will be considering everything that we have heard today."

Northumbrian Water said it will publish details of its final proposal in the New Year and the work will begin later next year.