A developer is pushing ahead with its controversial plans to build a luxury housing development on the clifftop at Whipsiderry Beach.

Living Quarter Properties (Porth) Limited has submitted an application to discharge a condition of its planning permission to build seven luxury villas on the site of the former Paradise Cove Hotel, which includes a new slope stability report.

The company commissioned AGS Ground Solutions to undertake a ground stability appraisal to understand how the proposed development will be affected by a recent landslips adjacent to the plot, to identify any potential risks of unstable ground on the site and establish if the proposed project remains viable. 

AGS Solutions concluded the landslip has “provided benefits to the cliff’s stability” and that rock bolting and meshing with a “regular maintenance and renewal regime” would provide sufficient stabilisation to reduce erosion to an acceptable level to provide protection to the proposed development for at least 125 years. 

AGS Solutions, in the planning application report, stated: “Plans for the site consist of a development on a plot of land at the crest of Whipsiderry Cliff. 

“A recent erosion event has resulted in a section of sea cliff, on the site’s western boundary, to regress by approximately 9.5m. 

A site inspection revealed the cliff was oriented NNE – SSW and was approximately 30 meters in height. 

“The cliff face displayed clear signs of concern, the central cliff face displayed several unstable blocks, with concentrated areas of intersecting discontinuities. 

“At the base of the cliff, a substantial amount of material has been deposited from a landslip. 

“Kinematic analysis on three accessible faces of the cliff found that in its current state, there is a high risk of failure in all locations and across the cliff face. 

“A drone survey was undertaken, and the imagery indicates there are discontinuity sets which have characterised the morphology of the recent cliff failure and will likely characterise the structure of future failures. 

“The imagery shows the cliff face is currently unstable and that there is potential for further landslip, if left in its current state. 

“Previous reports have recommended a combination of rock bolts, meshing and filling caves at the base of the cliff with concrete. 

“The recent rock fall has removed the most substantial two of the three sea caves, and the resultant voids have been infilled with the fallen rock, so that element of the work is no longer needed. 

“The landslip has provided benefits to the cliff’s stability. 

“The cliff profile is no longer undercut, making remediation simpler, and there is exposure of good quality rock on the face reduces the complexity of the geological model. 

“Rock bolting and meshing with a regular maintenance and renewal regime would provide sufficient stabilisation to reduce erosion to an acceptable level to provide protection to the proposed development for at least 125 years.

“A solution consisting of a combination of rock bolts and a metallic netting system can be used to stabilise the cliff from the rock failure methods identified from kinematic and visual analysis. 

“The weakened rock mass identified in the centre of the recent failure could be stabilised by using an active netting system.”

St Columb Minor Cornwall councillor John Fitter said: “I have been advised by the planning service that they will take steps to determine the request.

 “Within the application as submitted is a new slope stability report and fresh detail of how the developer might adapt to the ongoing collapse of the cliff face brought about, many would suggest, by the disastrous cliff engineering works carried out on the cliff in March of last year.

“What does seem to have been missing up to now is any meaningful communication from Cornwall Council, right from when the work stopped last March to now despite the efforts on numerous occasions by the Save Whipsiderry Cliffs Action Group and myself as the local member to attempt to understand what the view of the planning service is now, due to part of the site having collapsed into the sea.

“Speaking for myself, I have always received a sort of no comment reply to all my requests for information. 

“The question that remains unanswered is how long can the planning service continue to pretend that the extent of change at the site does not require a full new planning application to replace the one granted back in 2008.

“This was when the site did not of course have the protection of the Newquay Neighbourhood Plan or the Cornwall Council 2016 planning policy.

“Both of which would make development on this site in planning policy terms very difficult to get approval. 

“In other words when will Cornwall Council wake up and smell the coffee.”

Living Quarter Properties (Porth) Limited has been asked to comment on their new plans.