Stability needed


- Credit: Archant

D Pedder (letters, January 25) asks whether we, as householders on Cliff Road, would be prepared to donate the necessary length of our gardens to allow the cliff top to be angled to stop further falls.

In 2002, when the council was proposing a rock revetment at the base of the cliffs and re-profiling at the top, the residents unanimously agreed to give up the necessary 15 metres of garden to allow this to be done.

Since then we have all lost about that length anyway – I personally have lost 15 metres since 2007, a fact verifiable from professional surveys.

Whilst we might have qualms about giving up a further similar amount, I have no doubt that if this was to lead to stability then we would be prepared to do so.

Julia Creek (letters, February 1) states that the cliff only falls from the top, the sea causing relatively little erosion.

If that were the case then the cliffs would not be vertical but would slope back.

There is erosion from both the top and the bottom.

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If her proposal for a land drainage scheme could help prevent erosion from the top, then we would of course be very interested.

However, Sidmouth Town Council removed the drainage from Alma Field, which was helping prevent erosion from our gardens, in the 1990s and it has not been replaced.

And I am not sure where her estimate of a current erosion rate of 60 feet in 100 years originates – at present we can show by professional survey that it is at least 1.5 metres a year or about 500 feet in 100 years – up from 10 cms a year between 1880 and 1990 (source: Royal Haskoning Report 2009).

This is an increase of about 15 times since the groynes to protect the Sidmouth frontage were installed in 1995.

Her estimate of a current erosion rate of less than a foot a year would be very heaven indeed.

Paul Griew


Cliff Road Action Group