Crumbling Cornish cliff suffers ANOTHER rockfall amid housing row

Crumbling Cornish cliff suffers ANOTHER rockfall weeks after huge chunk collapsed onto beach below following work by developers for a controversial luxury housing development

  • Locals at Whipsiderry Cliffs near Newquay witnessed the second fall in a month

A cliff face in Cornwall has seen a second huge rockfall in a matter of weeks just yards away from existing houses amid an ongoing row about a luxury homes development.

A new collapse occurred at Whipsiderry Cliffs on Tuesday, just three weeks after another rockfall in the same place on November 19. After that fall the beach was closed off by the local council as it was anticipated more rock would follow. 

Furious locals in Newquay have been joined by Prince William and Love Island Star Lucie Donlan in fighting plans to concrete up the wild cliff face overlooking Whipsiderry beach on the coastal walk.

Living Quarter Properties won permission to build the seven homes but in August, campaigners said initial excavation work has already caused 1,000 tons of rocks to fall on to the beach, endangering the thousands who flock to it every summer.

The land above was bought by the developers for a reported £300,000 in 2007.

Further cracks can be seen in the cliff face following Tuesday’s rockfall

The beach has been cordoned off by Cornwall Council amid safety fears

Work to reinforce the cliffs to enable a housing development to be built was suspended in March after campaigners raised concerns about damage to the environment and local wildlife habitats. 

Campaign Group Save Whipsiderry Cliffs shared photos of the latest fall on social media and said that nearby houses were left shaking as the rock tumbled to the beach below.

The group said: ‘Another substantial cliff fall at Whipsy! We knew it was going to go, as there were some serious cracks after the last fall which left the cliff in a very unstable state.

‘A lot more rock, soil, shale has fallen onto the beach, just before noon today.

‘It’s still unstable, as you can see from the various cracks. A Resident in the local area told us their whole house shook.’

After last month’s fall, a spokesperson said: ‘Stay away. Major cliff fall at Whipsy happened in the last 30 minutes. The cliff is highly unstable, please stay away, much more is expected to fall.’

In March, The Duchy of Cornwall suspended developers Living Quarter Properties’ licence to backfill caves with concrete in order to stabilise the landscape for homes to be built.

The cliff face pictured before the recent rockfalls

The Whipsiderry cliff face pictured after the rockfalls

The land above was bought by developer Living Quarter Properties for a reported £300,000 in 2007, with plans for seven multistorey holiday villas. Pictured: Lucie Donlan joins protests in March

Work was stopped only when the Duchy of Cornwall, which owns part of the beach, responded to a plea from the group to use its ‘power and position of authority’ to stop the destruction

Planning permission for the development, which would see seven luxury properties built, had previously been provided by Cornwall Council. 

READ MORE: Going, going, gone! Dramatic moment cliff collapses just yards from houses on Cornish beach at site marked for controversial luxury development 

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) had granted a licence for cliff reinforcement work, while the Duchy granted access to the beach.

This was revoked after campaigners raised concerns over the timing of the works due to the annual nesting season of fulmars, a type of seabird. 

Leah Steward, of the Save Whipsiderry Group, told the BBC last month that around 5m of cliff top has fallen along with fencing around the development.

She said: ‘There have been about 12 falls since March and we used to get only one a year.

‘This is the biggest I have seen here. I feel so angry because we predicted this would happen, it should never have got to this stage because it is not a sustainable site.

‘I don’t see how they can develop that land safely.’

Whipsiderry is ‘the last wild beach in the area’, campaigners say. Its cliffs provide a vital nesting site for seabirds called fulmars and an important habitat for bats, the Cornish chough and kestrels.

Living Quarter Properties has been contacted for comment. 

Source: Read Full Article