Cliff hanger!

The debate continues about what, if anything, is to be done at Pennington Point and adjacent cliffs, to slow erosion and protect cliff-top homes and prevent the town from flooding.

The main difficulty is not just the financial costs, but, more that, with so many agencies and organisations taking an interest, it has not been possible to reach agreement.

Some argue that is natural for cliffs to erode and we should not interfere; others say the cliffs should be allowed to erode because there may be fossils present.

To most of us and to cliff top residents, the first argument is plainly not good enough.

As regards the argument in favour of letting the cliffs erode because fossils might emerge, I ask the obvious question: Where are the palaeontologists waiting with bated breath for every cliff fall and rushing to the beach in a frantic search for fossils before the next tide comes in to wash them away?

I am told that the local fishermen warned that, if rock islands were emplaced near Jacob’s Ladder, they would alter the sea currents and contribute to faster erosion of the eastern cliffs.

However, the firm of consultants who were asked for their recommendations were not required to report on what might affect the eastern cliffs, they were limited to only possible effects west of the River Sid.

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What can we do but groan in despair?

Miriam Brown

‘Karenza’, 6 Lennox Avenue, Sidmouth