Councillor funds cliff erosion survey


Sidmouth district and county councillor Stuart Hughes is so concerned about the state of the cliffs, he is funding the survey “himself” out of his locality budget. (Elections coming up?) Cliffs erode as part of a natural process – that’s why they look like they do – Owl’s advice is not to stand close under them! 

Philippa Davies 

Sidmouth’s crumbling cliffs are to be surveyed to assess the rate of erosion, following Monday’s rock fall at Pennington Point.

He has already called on East Devon District Council to take immediate action to reduce the risk of further collapses, given that the start of the beach management plan is 12 to 18 months away.

Cllr Hughes said: “The large cliff fall on Monday has made the need to carry out emergency works even more urgent, as what has now been exposed is very loose Triassic sandstone that will soon fall victim to more rough seas.

“I have agreed for the use of some of my locality budget to be used to carry out a further cliff survey by the county bridge engineers, which will give accurate and vital information on the rate of erosion since the last survey was carried out in 2015.”

He expects the survey to be carried out as soon as possible, with the results available about three weeks later.

He said the district council could carry out emergency work on the cliffs without the need for a planning application, but approval would be needed from the Environment Agency.