Dust cloud over Sidmouth after latest cliff fall

Another cliff fall has taken place in Sidmouth, and an eyewitness predicts another will happen at any moment.

The cliff fall which took place today (May 26), follows a number of landslides in Sidmouth over the last few months. See devonlive for images.

Chloe Parkman www.devonlive.com 

Key worker Stu White, 37, was on shift when he noticed the large cloud of dust over the town.

Stu said: “I was at work when I just looked over and noticed it.

“I didn’t hear a noise or anything.”

Stu, who describes himself as a “cliff geek”, noticed another large slab of rock which looks as if it could fall at any moment.

Given the history of Sidmouth cliff’s recent landslides, Stu’s prediction is not a surprise.

Last month pedestrians in Sidmouth witnessed a large cliff fall which created a huge plume of dust over the town.

A further two landslides in Sidmouth took place in March.

A Beach Management Scheme for the town which aims to protect Sidmouth’s crumbling cliffs is in place. The preferred option of the plan would see a new rock groyne placed on East Beach, shingle imported, and the height of the seafront splash wall increased.

The scheme which costs somewhere in the region of £8.7million, is now moving to the next stage after the funding gap was bridged earlier this month.

Cllr Geoff Jung, earlier this month, when he was still the Environment portfolio holder for East Devon District Council, said: “Now the Sidmouth and East Beach BMP is most likely to be fully funded, the East Devon team can concentrate on finalising the details of the project, such as accommodating an attractive new splash defence along the esplanade, improved slipway access and a recharged beach, which are all part of the preferred option, which is estimated to cost £8.7m.

“It is planned that as soon as is possible an exhibition and a chance to “meet the team” session will be held in Sidmouth (subject to Coronavirus emergency measures) providing local people the opportunity to see and understand the final designs.

“The project team will also have to apply for planning permission which will be subject to further period of public consultation, and agreement from strategy consultees which will include the Town Council, Natural England, and Historic England. Final assurance checks by the Environment Agency must also be passed to confirm the eligibility of the central Government Grant.”

The council is planning to host a public exhibition, when circumstances allow, in order to gather feedback on the details of the proposals, including the glass splash panel, prior to submitting a planning application.