Easter beach closure at Sidmouth as cliffs crack

SIDMOUTH S Eastern Beach was closed to the public on Easter Sunday after more cracks were spotted at Pennington Point.

SIDMOUTH'S Eastern Beach was closed to the public on Easter Sunday after more cracks were spotted at Pennington Point.

A technical officer from East Devon District Council was called by police to investigate the cracks after the PC was alerted by the coastguard.

EDDC says it will now consider whether to allow the area to remain open to the public.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the closure took place at around 11.30am on Sunday after a police officer, on duty from Seaton, was unhappy with the state of Salcombe Cliffs and with members of the public sitting under where cliff falls had taken place the week before.

"All agreed the cliff looked unstable and closed the beach," she said.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: "Access at Alma Steps was shut and signs were erected on the beach telling the public that it was closed.

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"Our engineers subsequently visited the site and confirmed that there is no imminent danger. The footpath above the cliffs remained open."

She added: "In the light of recent cliff movements in this area, consideration is now being given to whether this part of the beach should remain accessible to the public."

The 'Beach Closed' sign was still in place yesterday (Thursday).

District and County Councillor Stuart Hughes said: "I fully support the stance taken by the police to close off the beach east of the Sid.

"The cliffs are extremely active and will continue that way until something is done to protect them from the hammering they are getting twice a day at high tide.

"The last thing we want to see here is either someone being seriously injured from a rock fall or, even worse, a fatality."

He wants the beach closed from Weston end to prevent people accessing the beach.

Robert Crick, chairman of the Vision Group for Sidmouth said there were three police cars by Eastern Beach on Easter Sunday "and lots of grockles down by the cliffs."

He said warning signs were inadequate.

"Eastern Beach is an attractive, interesting, exciting-looking place with no real indication there that it presents a constant and real danger of death.

"We need much more serious new signs there if we are not to have a tragedy and waste a lot of police time."

The National Trust, which owns the beach, is meeting on Monday to discuss Pennington Point.