Huge Sidmouth cliff fall sparks emergency action plea

11:27 03 December 2012

Cliff fall. shs cliff1

Cliff fall. shs cliff1


THIS is the dramatic moment that another massive chunk of Sidmouth’s soaked coastline thunders to the beach below – and prompts calls for emergency action to be taken.

Fears have been expressed that several substantial cliff falls in the space of a few stormy days have put the eastern town at higher risk from the sea.

Devon’s lead councillor for flooding says it is ‘only a matter of time’ before the last protective piece of Pennington Point is lost.

A shingle bank that had started to build up at the toe of the Triassic cliff was also swept away during unrelenting rain at the weekend - exposing a deep void.

Woolbrook Meadows resident John Austin, 70, spotted a crack along the stretch when out for a normal walk last Friday.

Camera in hand, the shocked pensioner snapped away as a huge amount of soil came plummeting down.

John, who often stops at the spot to take photos to document the changing face of the cliffs, said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that.”

Surface run-off from the fields above was attributed as a major contributing factor to the landslip.

And Councillor Stuart Hughes, the county’s lead member for flooding, said Pennington Point is also ‘exposed to attack’ from high tide twice a day.

“I am of the opinion that unless some form of emergency rock revetment work is carried out and put in place it will be only a matter of a short period of time before we lose the last section of cliff that is protecting both eastern town and Alma Bridge from south easterlies and, with it, the threat of tidal flooding.

“It certainly will not wait for the proposed Beach Management Plan to be drawn up and I believe it will qualify for Defra emergency funding.”

Cllr Hughes has also requested the county council seeks funding for a 3D laser scan survey of Pennington Point to be carried out.


Other News Stories

Lyme beach scene by Edna Dorrington

Much admired painter’s works to go on show at Lyme Regis Town Mill

Read more

A village pre-school could close its doors for good, if it does not find the funding for a brand new headquarters.

Read more
Sidmouth In Bloom's Toad of Toad Hall was pulled out of its boat and damaged by vandals.

A town centre park is to close during the evenings in a bid to reduce vandalism.

Read more
The crash at the sub station in Congrams Close, Newport.

VW Polo crashed in Congrams Close this morning (Tuesday)

Read more

The Littleham Residents’ Association (LRA) faces closure - if new members cannot be found.

Read more
An artist's impression of the new leisure building at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks.

New entertainment complex planned in major redevelopment

Read more
Pig on the Hill's ?? pickes up the best 'Gastro Pub' award from Gabriel David of Luscombe Drinks and Nigel Barden at The Food & Drink Devon Awards 2015. Picture: Steven Haywood

Two North Devon businesses took home awards fromm fifth ceremony celebrating food and drink in Devon.

Read more
Gearing up for the North Devon Christmas Market are organiser Neil Hampson (left) with local youngsters and Liz and Derrick Spear plus Ian Williams and Ian Roome from Over and Above.

Don’t miss the North Devon Christmas Market in Braunton on Friday, December 4.

Read more
Lions Club members and Seaton Mayor Tony Woodman wearing their blindfolds and holding white canes. Photo IAN BARRADALE

Seaton mayor dons a blindfold and takes a white cane to negotiate the streets

Read more
Artist Impression of open space toward the Crescent at Plumb Park, Littleham, Exmouth.

‘Complete chaos’ at Littleham Cross road junction has been predicted by Avenues residents if plans for a 350-home housing development in Littleham go ahead.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Find a job in Devon

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications