Cliffs Fall onto Porthleven Beach

Just over a week ago, a few hundred tonnes of cliff collapsed on to Porthleven beach roughly 150m east of Blue Buoy Steps. The first I knew about it was the morning after when the owner of the land (land above cliffs) contacted me raising his concerns, and the possible danger to the public. I contacted the relevant officer at Cornwall Council who came down and inspected the landslide.

Out of that initial inspection it was decided to arrange a meeting with the relevant people and agencies. This included myself, the town council, Cornwall Council, the landowner of the cliff-top area and the owner of the beach, The National Trust. That way, the best course of action; to either prevent further landslides; and more importantly, protect the public.

These cliffs have a long history of landslides, though luckily not too frequent but frequent enough for Kerrier DC to build a series of concrete sea-defences along this area. Sadly, the sea-defences did not extend this far because of limited numbers of buildings. This of course has changed due to a few crazy planning decisions like Carn Del being given planning permission despite massive opposition to it. To this day I am still shocked planning permission was granted to buildings which some are no more than 10m from the cliff edge.

This meeting took place on Wednesday, and out of that meeting it was decided to erect a series of warning signs at the various access and exit points alone this stretch of coastline. Cornwall Council even though it is not the landowners of the beach will be placing warning signs at Blue Buoy Steps and the Slip near the town council offices.  The plan is then to sit down with The National Trust and see if any permanent solution can be found to reduce the risk of a massive landslide.

Looking at the area today it was apparent to anyone looking at the cliff face other parts are looking less than secure. The worry is this could go at any time with either a strong sea conditions, and more interestingly, strong easterly winds. A local resident who has lived along this stretch of coast for the last 80 odd years informed those present that these cliffs are more prone to collapse when there is a combination of strong sea conditions and easterly winds.

My message to anyone walking along this stretch of coastline which is not covered by the sea-defences is to stay well, well away from the base of the cliff.

Pictures below will show how large this landslide was even after all of the earth and smaller rocks have been washed away by the sea.

One comment

  • anon

    The power of the sea amazes me.

    Just as amazing as the idiot 🙂 who spent/wasted public money putting hand rails in at the base of blue buoy steps last year – I note that the first heavy weather (it wasn’t even a storm) got rid of them, as it did previous hand rails.

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