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Lyme Regis: Chalet teeters on cliff after landslide
LANDSLIPS at Lyme Regis have left a chalet teetering on a cliff and closed the Undercliff coast path.
Police were called to the Monmouth Beach and Ware Cliff area on Friday evening after the cliff crumbled on to a chalet.
The chalet, which had recently been bought, was pushed down the cliff when rubble buckled the stilts.
Just days earlier, the town council moved two caravans as debris fell on to a caravan and came dangerously close to another.
The nearby Undercliff coast path was closed on Thursday by Natural England following land slippage at Ware.
On the same day, the Met Office issued a landslide warning for coastal areas in the South West following heavy downpours.
The area around Ware Cliff remains cordoned off this week as the council monitors the situation.
Police were called just after 5.30pm on Friday.
A spokesman said: “Officers helped check if there was anyone in the chalet affected and a police cordon was put up.
“Officers were at points making sure that people weren’t going into the area.”
Deputy town clerk John Wright said council staff are monitoring the situation daily.
He said: “There was some earth movement on Ware Cliff and the earth pushed the chalet forward.
“It was on stilts and the front stilts buckled over.
“As a precaution we cordoned off that top section of chalets on Ware Cliff. Everybody has been notified in the cordoned off area.
“We met the man who owns the chalet on site and of course he has to make decisions about what he intends to do with the chalet.
“He has just recently bought it and he was obviously upset.”
Mr Wright said they had also been taking advice from Dorset County Council geologist Richard Edmonds.
The town council was prepared for more slippage after a landslip on December 21 threatened caravans.
Mr Wright said: “We moved out a couple of caravans with the owners’ consent.
“These caravans were almost at the edge of the cliff and there had been some slippage on to one and it was very close to the other.”
Natural England closed the path within the Undercliff National Nature Reserve after several locations showed signs of earth movement and land slippage.
Senior reserve manager Tom Sunderland said: “Recent movement on the coast path at Ware, near Lyme Regis, has created a potentially dangerous situation for walkers with a fissure opening up across the coastal path.
“Consequently Natural England has taken a decision with Devon County Council to close the coastal footpath as from Thursday. The situation is being regularly monitored and we hope to be able to re-open the path as soon as possible.”
He said staff would look for alternative routes through the reserve in the New Year.
He added: “There is really quite significant movement going on around all parts of the reserve so we are going to have to wait for it to settle.”