Sidmouth’s notorious crumbling cliffs crash down yet again

Sidmouth’s notorious crumbling cliffs have once again been pictured crashing into the sea.

Chloe Parkman www.devonlive.com

The town’s red cliffs are well-known for tumbling onto the ground below with the coastguard issuing a number of warnings to the public, urging them to avoid the area.

The most recent cliff fall took place yesterday (June 16) at around 4pm and was captured by Daryl Dudley Photography.

Daryl says he did not hear any sound prior to the landslide as he was stood quite a distance away, but he spotted the rest dust cloud shortly after it happened.

In the last three weeks, there have been at least four cliff collapses in the East Devon town, all of which on land which is owned and managed by the District Council.

The spate of recent falls prompted Beer Coastguard team to issue a warning to the public.

They posted: “Another cliff fall just happened to the East of the last one between Sidmouth and Salcombe Regis.

“Stay away from the cliffs, DO NOT go on the beach below Salcombe hill.”

Last week, DevonLive reported that no immediate work will be carried out on Sidmouth’s crumbling cliffs which have seen a spate of collapses in recent weeks.

Cliff falls in Sidmouth (Image: Daryl Dudley Photography.)

While long term work on the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan scheme, which aims to reduce the rate of erosion, is being carried out, the cabinet recently voted to pause the current working option to review other possible options now that the scheme is eligible for more government funding.

A spokesman for East Devon District Council (EDDC) said that the risk of cliff falls is well signed in this area, so members of the public should adhere to warnings to stay well clear of the cliffs and not access East Beach as it is closed for safety reasons, but that no immediate work was planned to address the recent cliff falls.

They added: “The locations of the recent cliff falls at East Beach/Pennington Point are outside land owned and managed by East Devon District Council.

“The risk of cliff falls is well signed in this area, so members of the public should adhere to warnings to stay well clear of the cliffs and not access East Beach as it is closed for safety reasons.

“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 heavy rainfall can trigger incidences.

“We recommend that people enjoy East Devon cliffs from a distance and do not climb or sit directly beneath them. Please always follow the warning signs.

“Work on the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan (BMP) scheme continues. It aims to reduce the risk of flooding to Sidmouth by maintaining the standard of defences along Sidmouth beach and to reduce the rate of erosion to the cliffs east of the town (and therefore the rate of exposure of the east side of Sidmouth to coastal conditions).

“The EDDC Cabinet recently voted to pause the current working option to review other possible options now that the scheme is eligible for more government funding.

“A sub group is currently reviewing the scope for this and will report back at the next BMP advisory group in July.

“A temporary rock revetment on East Beach and planning permission for this will be explored if the new scheme means a delay to work starting.”

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