Cliff scenario is a buck-passer’s paradise

MADAM - The meeting on May 1, called by the Salcombe Hill Residents Association, was well reported in your edition of May 8.

MADAM - The meeting on May 1, called by the Salcombe Hill Residents' Association, was well reported in your edition of May 8. After attending it, my wife and I came away feeling saddened and discouraged.

It seems there is no one person or body able to lay down and implement a simple plan for action to prevent the devastation of the town by a severe south-easterly storm. We heard that ownership of land, and "responsibility" for action, is divided between the County Council, EDDC, the Town Council, the National Trust, the Environment Agency, Natural England (the controllers of Sites of Special Scientific Interest), UNESCO (World Heritage Coast), South West Water - and probably more that I have forgotten. What a recipe for disaster - a bureaucratic buck-passer's paradise! No wonder that there has been over 20 years of talking about the Salcombe Cliff erosion, but no action of any significance to protect the town, its people and its facilities.

The well-reasoned letter from Robin Fuller, in the same edition as your report, put the problem and the solution admirably. What is it going to take to stir all the above bodies into an agreement that urgent action is needed - not in 10 or 20 years, but right now? All too predictably, I fear the answer to my question is that major disaster, with loss of life. Should we try to persuade Joanna Lumley to buy a holiday home here and take up our cause?

Derek Parry


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