A SENIOR councillor has called for a comprehensive risk assessment of Bournemouth’s coastline following a 100ft landslip.
Former mayor Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts, who sits on the borough’s planning board, also claimed stricter guidelines should be applied to developments near clifftops.
Cllr Stanley-Watts’ intervention comes after a portion of the East Cliff fell away in the early hours of Sunday morning.
This resulted in rocks crushing a toilet block on the promenade, the cliff’s distinctive Edwardian funicular railway lift being submerged in debris and stretches of public pathway falling to the ground.
Cllr Stanley-Watts, who represents Boscombe, told the Daily Echo that he fears it is not just the East Cliff that could be impacted by landslides and cited recent, albeit smaller, incidents in his own ward and other parts of the town.
“It is a worry if you are in an area with so many cliffs,” said Cllr Stanley-Watts, who was first elected to the authority 25 years ago.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that they are safe, and I believe we should undertake a full and comprehensive risk assessment of all of our cliffs in the borough.”
Cllr Stanley-Watts said he will make raising the issue with the council’s cabinet a priority in forthcoming meetings.
Cabinet member for tourism, Cllr Lawrence Williams, said: “I would like to reassure residents and visitors that we are closely monitoring this site as we do with the entire clifftop.
“We routinely assess the condition of the cliffs, which is what seafront rangers were doing on Saturday and led to them taking the precautionary action to close the lifts, toilets and café prior to the landslip.”
Providing an update on Sunday’s landslip, Cllr Williams added: “At this stage expert engineers are on site assessing the situation.
“We will be in conversations with them in the coming weeks to decide what we do next.”
It is not yet known when the affected area of clifftop, which includes the memorial for Flt Lt Jon Egging, will reopen to the public.