Huge Sidmouth cliff fall sparks emergency action plea

11:27 03 December 2012

Cliff fall. shs cliff1

Cliff fall. shs cliff1

Archant

THIS is the dramatic moment that another massive chunk of Sidmouth’s soaked coastline thunders to the beach below – and prompts calls for emergency action to be taken.

Fears have been expressed that several substantial cliff falls in the space of a few stormy days have put the eastern town at higher risk from the sea.

Devon’s lead councillor for flooding says it is ‘only a matter of time’ before the last protective piece of Pennington Point is lost.

A shingle bank that had started to build up at the toe of the Triassic cliff was also swept away during unrelenting rain at the weekend - exposing a deep void.

Woolbrook Meadows resident John Austin, 70, spotted a crack along the stretch when out for a normal walk last Friday.

Camera in hand, the shocked pensioner snapped away as a huge amount of soil came plummeting down.

John, who often stops at the spot to take photos to document the changing face of the cliffs, said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that.”

Surface run-off from the fields above was attributed as a major contributing factor to the landslip.

And Councillor Stuart Hughes, the county’s lead member for flooding, said Pennington Point is also ‘exposed to attack’ from high tide twice a day.

“I am of the opinion that unless some form of emergency rock revetment work is carried out and put in place it will be only a matter of a short period of time before we lose the last section of cliff that is protecting both eastern town and Alma Bridge from south easterlies and, with it, the threat of tidal flooding.

“It certainly will not wait for the proposed Beach Management Plan to be drawn up and I believe it will qualify for Defra emergency funding.”

Cllr Hughes has also requested the county council seeks funding for a 3D laser scan survey of Pennington Point to be carried out.

0 comments

Other News Stories

33 minutes ago

Following the success of its Silent Auction in October, Musbury Church, is having a Christmas Craft Fayre in Musbury Village Hall on Saturday, December 3, from 10am to 1pm.

Read more

Find out when Santa will be visiting Bideford, Barnstaple, Torrington, Northam, Appledore, Fremington, Yelland and Braunton.

Read more
07:00

Seaton and District Hospital League of Friends received a generous £1,500 donation from friends in Beer.

Read more

It is the season of goodwill and so the perfect time to thank someone who has made a real difference to life in the area – by nominating them for the 2016 Citizen of the Year award.

Read more
06:30

An application to build five houses on agricultural land in East Budleigh looks set to get the go-ahead.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:43

Guest had to break glass with his bare feet and barely escaped alive with his young son after Europa fire that revealed ‘a number of failings’

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Honiton Round Table will be touring the town with its Santa Sleigh and raising money at the same time for good causes.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Youngsters at Offwell Primary School were enthralled by a performance put on by a touring theatre group.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:35

Police are appealing for information after a woman in her 60s had to be cut from her car at junction of Abbotsham Road and Belvoir Road.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

The tractor, which still works today, was first bought in 1954 and is the inspiration behind a series of children’s books.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

Most Read News

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Find a job in Devon



Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications