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

Yesterday, 07:00

Devon Freewheelers operates daily ‘hand-to-mouth’, never knowing where its next penny will come from.

Read more
Fri, 12:35
Exeter Crown Court.

An alleged professional criminal funded a jet-setting lifestyle by masterminding burglaries across Devon, including in Ottery St Mary and Beer, it was claimed at Exter Crown Court.

Read more
Fri, 11:23
The health watch has already seen success in several communities including Budleigh Salterton, Lympstone and Newton St Cyres.

A recent decision which saw Sidmouth miss out on the chance to trial a pioneering support scheme was down to a lack of necessity for the project - not a lack of interest.

Read more
Fri, 09:08
Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson with 3 year old Stephanie during a General Election campaign visit to Advantage Children's Day Nursery in Surbiton, Surrey. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

David Cameron is launching the Conservatives’ first English manifesto, with a promise of changes to ensure that English MPs have the final say on income tax rates in England.

Read more
Thu, 11:17
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has a selfie taken as he meets Labour supporters in Ipswich yesterday. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Labour is accusing the Conservatives of planning the biggest spending cuts in any of the world’s advanced economies as the parties again prepare to trade blows on the economy.

Read more
Ottery St Mary Hospital entrance. Ref sho 7454-44-14TI Picture: Terry Ife

Campaigners have accused health authorities of leaving a ‘veil of secrecy’ over discussions to determine the future of Ottery’s hospital - and are appealing for support.

Read more
Wed, 12:08
Angry Sidmouth residents gathered at Knowle Gardens in 2013 after having their application for a public footpath to run through the grounds rejected. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 5623-26-13AW

Walkers may still be able to enjoy a stroll through the ‘upper terraces’ area of Knowle, even if proposals to build a retirement community on the site go ahead as planned.

Read more
Wed, 11:44
Paul Johnston of The Old Post Office, Fairmile, is appealing to motorists to slow down. Ref sho 3361-16-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A resident who has been battling for two years for measures to stop speeding traffic on Ottery’s outskirts says lack of action could ‘cost a life’.

Read more
Wed, 09:53
Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg at a news conference in London where he announced his party's plans for the public sector. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Millions of teachers, nurses, police officers and other public sector workers will be spared further pay cuts under Liberal Democrat plans set out by Nick Clegg as he promised there was “light at the end of the tunnel” after years of austerity.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder