Three cliff falls happen in less than 24 hours in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 17:10 28 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:14 28 May 2020

One of the cliff falls that happened near Jacob's Ladder on Wednesday, May 28. Picture: Sara Bond

One of the cliff falls that happened near Jacob's Ladder on Wednesday, May 28. Picture: Sara Bond

Archant

There are no plans for any emergency action to be taken following three cliff falls in the space of 24 hours in Sidmouth.

One of the cliff falls that happened near Jacob's Ladder on Wednesday, May 28. Picture: Sara BondOne of the cliff falls that happened near Jacob's Ladder on Wednesday, May 28. Picture: Sara Bond

Two cliff falls took place on Wednesday, May 27, – one at East Beach and one at Jacobs Ladder – with another having taken place at East Beach on Tuesday, May 26 – and all saw the cliffs crumble into the water and huge clouds of dust created.

The trio of landslides are just some of the evergrowing number of cliff falls that have hit Sidmouth this year, and while the funding for the long-awaited Beach Management Plan has finally been found, completed work is at least two years away.

The plans would not stop cliff falls but would reduce the erosion from the toe of the cliffs, which would reduce the erosion rates.

Calls have been made for emergency work to be carried out by the district council to shore up the cliffs at Pennington Point, including by the current chairman of the council, but an East Devon District Council spokesman told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that no emergency action to protect the cliffs is set to be made.

One of the cliff fallsl that happened near Jacob's Ladder on Wednesday, May 28. Picture: Sara BondOne of the cliff fallsl that happened near Jacob's Ladder on Wednesday, May 28. Picture: Sara Bond

They added that both locations of cliff falls this week were outside of the land they own and manage and are not included in the area set to be protected by the BMP.

The spokesman said: “In both locations the risk of cliff falls is well signed on any access to the beach, so members of the public should adhere to warnings to stay well clear of the cliffs. East Beach has also had its access restricted as much as practicable to try to discourage any public access.

“Cliff falls are a natural and unpredictable occurrence along the East Devon coast, this is because the rock from which the cliffs are formed is soft and therefore prone to rock falls and landslides, which can happen at any time, although periods of heavy rainfall such as the wettest February on record and now a long dry period, can cause an increase rate of falls.”


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