Landslips prompt warnings for public to stay away from cliff faces

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: ACTIVE EARTH: Cliff falls at East Beach ACTIVE EARTH: Cliff falls at East Beach

TWO significant landslips in Lyme Regis have led to renewed calls for the public to stay away from cliff faces.

The two movements happened last weekend, with a large fall from the cliffs on Monmouth Beach, and the other happening to the east of the town behind the new sea at East Cliff.

Land from the edge of the Charmouth Road allotments crumbled towards the sea and has led to minor delays to the multi-million-pound Phase IV of the Coastal Protection Scheme, though engineers have confirmed the work is still scheduled to be completed this spring.

The part of the cliff that has fallen was not part of the stabilisation works, and Nick Browning, head of engineering projects at West Dorset District Council, said allowances had been made in the plans for cliff falls.

Mr Browning said: “There have been some landslips from the allotments to the eastern side of the wall, but we were not going to stabilise this area of land any way.

“It was not part of the scheme and we expected and planned for the slips to continue.

“It has caused some delays to the sea wall work but we allowed for that from the start.

“The contractors are now working to reduce the delays and we still expect to finish well within the original completion date in spring this year.

“The landslips at this area have not been caused by the stabilisation works, it is just a natural continuation of land slips.”

Damage to the allotments has not been confirmed due to the closure of the plots at the start of the winter.

John Cook, who manages the allotments, said: “The allotments have been closed and fenced off to the public.

“We are not going to know if any of the allotments are damaged or if we have lost any allotments until the end of the sea defence works, as the allotments have been closed off since November and equipment used by the company has been stored there.

“The allotments have always been right up to the edge so we always know there is a possibility we might lose some.”

The other fall happened on Monmouth Beach, where land has been continuously moving following the severe storms that have engulfed the south coast.

Richard Edmonds, earth science manager for Dorset County Council’s Jurassic Coast team, said: “While it is impossible to predict where the next rock fall or landslide may take place, I was really surprised by the number of obviously fresh falls in the cliffs.

“The base of these cliffs have taken a massive pounding by the sea and that considerably increases the probability of rock falls.

“Stay away from the base of these cliffs and tops.

“There is an increased risk of falls and slides over the next few weeks.”

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