Another cliff fall at Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 13:44 28 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:44 28 June 2018

The latest cliff fall in Sidmouth, June 2018.

The latest cliff fall in Sidmouth, June 2018.


More of Sidmouth’s crumbling cliffs crashed into the sea this week.

The latest cliff fall in Sidmouth, June 2018.The latest cliff fall in Sidmouth, June 2018.

At the start of April, five cliff falls happened in a week, seeing saw hundreds more tonnes of dirt collapse onto the beach – one of which saw a shed teetering on the edge of disaster, prompting a ‘for sale’ sign to be painted on it.

This week, there has been another smaller cliff fall further along the East Beach, near Pennington Point.

East Devon District Council do have plans to protect the cliffs from falling into the sea, with their preferred option being to construct additional rock groynes on East Beach, as well as the shortening of the River Sid training wall and the ongoing importation of new shingle as well as ongoing recycling of existing shingle.

The Sidmouth and East Beach Management Scheme’s aim is to maintain the 1990’s Sidmouth Coastal Defence Scheme and reduce the rate of the beach and cliff erosion to the east of the River Sid in an integrated, justifiable and sustainable way.

The latest cliff fall in Sidmouth, June 2018.The latest cliff fall in Sidmouth, June 2018.

By importing new shingle onto Sidmouth Beach and raising the existing splash wall, the amount of water overtopping the promenade can be captured, preventing the water flooding low lying areas in the town centre.

It is then suggested that a further, new groyne is placed on East beach to help it maintain a larger shingle beach and reduce the waves hitting the toe of the cliffs.

The scheme presented by Royal HaskoningDHV is a result of extensive testing of groynes, beach profiles and splash wall heights using computer simulations of waves and shingle, which have been validated against records and observed beach behaviour to provide the necessary assurance to the Environment Agency for funding approval.

The current estimated cost of the project is around £9million over its entire lifespan and that around £5.7million is expected to be funded by central government, leaving a funding gap of around £3.3million.

The latest cliff fall in Sidmouth, June 2018.The latest cliff fall in Sidmouth, June 2018.

The next steps of the project is to finalise the preferred option and obtain approval for the outline business case that is required to obtain funding for the detailed design stages.

It is expected to be submitted to the Government by the summer and if approved, work could begin in 2019.

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