A man has been charged with the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman at Pottsville Beach 21 years ago.

On 29 September 1989, a 30-year-old woman went for an early morning walk along Pottsville Beach near Tweed Heads when she was allegedly approached by a naked male.

The woman fled into nearby bushes but was allegedly grabbed and forced to the ground before being sexually assaulted.

Despite extensive investigations into the matter at the time, police were unable to locate the woman’s attacker.

A breakthrough was made in the case earlier this year when the Cold Case Justice Project conducted a review of the case including the re-examination of forensic evidence.

Police will allege advancements in forensic technology allowed for the re-testing of DNA evidence which subsequently led them to identify a man involved in the incident.

Yesterday Detectives from the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command travelled to an address in Silverwater where they arrested a 55-year-old man.

He was questioned and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm with intent to commit sexual assault, sexual assault and kidnapping.

The man was refused bail and was expected to appear in Burwood Local Court today.