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Monmouth Beach huts to be demolished after dangerous landslips
FOUR expensive seaside chalets are set to be demolished after more land movement in the cliffs left them in a ‘precarious’ position.
The chalets, thought to be worth around £140,000 each, have been destroyed in a series of landslips along Monmouth Beach since December.
Landowner Lyme Regis Town Council strongly advised chalet owners to stay away from their holiday homes following another landslide last week.
Police closed the access road to Monmouth Beach and warned people not to cross their barricade amid fears there could be another landslide.
Five chalets at Ware Cliff have suffered ‘multiple structural damage’ and cordons have been placed around six other ‘at risk’ chalets.
The road closure was lifted and the beach was later re-opened but signs went up urging visitors to approach the area with caution.
Deputy town clerk John Wright said: “We are now talking to the chalet owners who are most at risk about what we do with their chalets. Five chalets have got multiple structural damage but we have put a cordon around 11 chalets in total.
“The biggest issue at this point is that some of the chalets that are most affected could tumble down on to the ones below.
“The view that has clearly emerged from the people that own the four worst-affected chalets is that the only route available to them is demolition.
“I really feel for the people that are losing their chalets.
“Until we are clear about issues around land stability it would be foolish to put more chalets on the site.”
Mr Wright said the owners are covered by their own insurance but the council would lose the site licence fees.
“It hits us directly because of the income and it’s not an insignificant amount of money but it’s not going to break the council,” he said.
Lyme Regis Police have been keeping a close eye on the area and officers noticed on a routine check last Tuesday morning there had been further movement since the previous week.
Following discussions with councillors, the Coastguard, and Western Power engineers, police closed the access road.
PCSO Luke White said: “More chalets had been seen to move during the previous 12 hours and concerns were raised regarding the safety of people driving and walking along the road should a chalet be dislodged or there be further significant land movement.
“There are concerns that the chalets are getting to tipping point and could dislodge at any time. There were also people using the huts, despite being assured that no one should be in the chalets under the terms of their leases.
“I would also urge chalet owners who have belongings in their chalets to remove them now, rather than wait until their chalet has slipped.”
‘Don’t risk your lives to find fossils’ warning
POLICE have also sent a warning out to fossil hunters to stay away from fresh landfalls.
Movement in the cliffs is ongoing along Monmouth Beach, an area popular with fossilers.
PCSO White, pictured, said: “We continue to advise people to be very vigilant when near any cliff area around the coast.
“During the past week I have seen families on Monmouth Beach on their hands and knees rummaging through fresh landfalls looking for fossils, while rocks fall metres from them, seemingly oblivious to the dangers. I don’t think anyone can argue that a fossil is worth risking your or your children’s lives for.”