Councils move to tackle cliff fears in Sidmouth

MOVES are being made to tackle the problem of erosion of the cliff face at Pennington Point, Sidmouth.

MOVES are being made to tackle the problem of erosion of the cliff face at Pennington Point, Sidmouth, and the safety issues raised by encroachment of the sea and landslips caused by heavy rain.

East Devon District Council is to review the current state of the cliffs with a view to the possibility of bringing forward a coastal protection scheme designed to give a degree of protection to Pennington Point near the mouth of the River Sid and reducing the threat to Eastern Town from encroachment by the waves as a result of coastal erosion and rising sea levels.

Members and officers of EDDC met informally with members of Sidmouth Town Council this week and agreed that the best way forward was for the District Council to review of the state of the cliffs and the likely impact of climate change. This would be a separate exercise from the Shoreline Management Plan which is currently being prepared nationally.

EDDC will refer the matter to its Corporate Overview Committee, which will look at the known facts and recommend how the new review should be structured.

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Councillor Graham Liverton, EDDC's Portfolio Holder Environment, and a Sidmouth Ward Member, said: "We are determined to ensure that Sidmouth is protected. There are limits as to what we can do because of the constraints imposed by national agencies, World Heritage Coast status, land ownership* and funding. But at least we can look at the options afresh.

"We propose to have completed the review and have a draft plan in place by the spring of 2009".

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