A THIRD major cliff collapse occurred at Whipsiderry on Saturday morning near to where a developer proposes to build a luxury housing development.

The Save Whipsiderry Cliff group estimates around 2,000 tonnes of rock fell onto the beach at around 8.30am.

The latest cliff collapse follows developer Living Quarter Properties (Porth) Limited submitting 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 large landslips adjacent to the plot in November and December, 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. 

Fencing fell during the latest collapse ( )

A spokesperson for The Save Whipsiderry Cliff group said: “Just two weeks after the developer submitted a report saying the cliff was 'far more stable' than previously thought, the cliff collapses.


Joanna Kenny, the chairman of Newquay Town Council’s planning committee, added: “The noise woke local residents up in the early morning of Saturday.    

“Comparing photos from the latest collapse and only three weeks ago, sadly you don’t have to be a geological expert just how much more is going to fall to add to the massive 9.5m metres already lost from the edge of the cliff in the recent falls.

“Ironical that Cornwall Council are currently considering an application to stabilise the cliffs enough to permit a development of holiday villas on the cliff edge.

“This purported to re-discharge a condition, the last plan to discharge being literally on the beach, placed on the original 2007 application.

“That original application’s approval being considered valid despite the clear breach of the protective policies introduced by the Shoreline Management Plan and the coastal change management area polices established by the Newquay Neighbourhood Plan.

“This new application was not open to public consultation but the planning and licensing committee of Newquay Town Council was permitted to make comments which we did, pointing out that simply presenting a new geological report, now out of date, did not remotely meet the condition’s requirement for detailed plans of what measures are proposed and how it is going to be maintained. 

“I was pleased that the Planning & Licensing Committee response supported my question as to whether this new application, almost 17 years after the original 2007 application was approved, has the same legal protection as the original, since the proposal to interfere further with the cliff clearly breached the current policies that protected our cliffs.  

“If the developer cannot legally or physically do anything that would purport to stabilise the cliffs in their current fragile condition, then that original permission should fail because it’s condition cannot be legally met. 

“The new report came to some interesting conclusions, not least a recommendation that implied that the foundations of the current approved development is likely to damage the cliff face further.

“I understand there are some expert challenges to the conclusions of the new report and personally I was not convinced of the idea that the stream of cliff falls have made the cliffs more stable.  

“Where the report has proposed, however, that there is no longer a need to power drill into the base of our fragile cliffs, I am not going to argue.”

Read more in Wednesday’s Newquay Voice.