Thursday 11 August 2016

Beach Management Plan: and ensuring cliff falls are a thing of the past

Last week there was a dramatic cliff fall on the eastern beach:
Futures Forum: Pennington Point > latest cliff falls

Yesterday there was another:

Picture: Another cliff fall at Sidmouth’s east beach

17:52 10 August 2016 Clarissa Place

Guy Russell was on the beach when he saw a large cloud of dust appear on Sidmouth's east beach. He is warning others to not take risks going to the beach.

Sidmouth Lifeboat coxswain urges people to take note of safety signs after another cliff fall on Sidmouth’s east beach.

This picture shows the moment a large cloud of dust appeared after another cliff fall crashed onto Sidmouth’s east beach. The shot was taken by Guy Russell and took place around 4.30pm this afternoon (Wednesday).

The businessman and coxswain of Sidmouth Lifeboat took to social media to urge beach goers to take note of safety signs on the beach saying it was not worth the risk.

Guy said: “One day and I hate to say it someone will be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was a big cloud and it wouldn’t take much to hurt someone or kill them. A rock the size of a basketball would do some damage. It's been said before but its important to make people aware.”

Guy, of Jurassic Paddles Sports, said he saw people yesterday walking exactly where the debris fell, climbing over debris to cross back onto the beach. He said: “I was watching with bated breath, thinking ‘what are you doing?’ It was mental.”

Last week East Devon District Council issued safety advice following a cliff fall on east beach at the end of July. The spokesman said: “Rockfalls and landslides are unpredictable events, occurring without warning, and can cause serious injury or death. Warning signs can be found in areas managed by East Devon District Council. The absence of a sign does not indicate there is no risk and you should always take care around the cliffs of East Devon, as all are made of soft rock and pose a cliff fall danger.”

Picture: Another cliff fall at Sidmouth’s east beach - News - Sidmouth Herald

The ongoing Beach Management Plan is looking for a way to halt further such erosion:
Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: Option 4b or not 4b >>> or: how to ignore everyone else's opinion

The question is whether the District Council's preferred Option 1 will protect the eastern cliffs - and will be accepted by Natural England and the World Heritage Site:

Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: public consultation 15th June and Steering Group meeting 16th June

The alternative Option 4b, preferred by everyone else, including the consultants, would not impose a groyne on the eastern beach - but would build up sandy beaches to protect the shoreline:

Futures Forum: Beach Management Plan: public consultation 15th June and Steering Group meeting 16th June

And looking towards the eastern cliffs from the current rock islands (or reefs), it is clear that this arrangement has protected the western cliffs and western part of town very well these last couple of decades:

A bird’s-eye view of Sidmouth - News - Sidmouth Herald

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