Question of action

SIR - The cliff erosion east of the River Sid is multiply determined. A full range of tactics is needed to address the problem, including a beach management plan, though this alone is not enough.

Some actions could be put in place urgently, at a fraction of the cost already spent by Council over the past few years on reports and inconclusive discussions.

The stripping of the beach at the base of the cliffs over the past 15 years is significant, but is by no means the only issue requiring a coastal strategy for East Devon, as required by the Environment Agency.

Five approaches were identified in the DEFRA-funded Coastal Change survey undertaken by volunteer representatives of communities along the West Dorset and East Devon coast with the help of geomorphologists and other professional experts two to three years ago.

We have reported back to EDDC from time to time, recommending an appropriate combination of these approaches. West Dorset have exemplary solutions in place but nothing has yet been done - or even decided - in East Devon. Julia Creeke’s historical survey and analysis is a valuable reminder that drainage at the top of the cliffs would be an important and comparatively inexpensive contribution to slowing the escalating rate of erosion that is endangering the town.

Robert Crick

2 Glenisla Terrace, Sidmouth, Devon