Council orders demolition of five holiday chalets
A town council has been forced to order the demolition of several beach chalets following a series of cliff slips.
Five holiday chalets beside Monmouth Beach at Lyme Regis have been dismantled as the ground moved another 18 inches overnight yesterday.
Heavy rainfall in recent months has caused significant land movement on chalet and caravan sites in the East Devon town.
A cordon and signs marked "Danger Keep Out" have been erected around the area that incorporates the chalets.
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John Wright, deputy town clerk, said: "We have talked to the owners whose properties have been damaged by the land movement to establish what they propose to do with their chalets. In each instance, the owners have indicated that they intend to have their chalets demolished."
Meetings were called in the town to discuss the demolition option with the owners of the chalets.
One of the chalet owners wanted to dismantle his chalet himself and asked for time to carry out the work.
But the four other chalet owners authorised the council to start the work on their behalf as soon as possible.
The work is costing the town council £14,000 including some £5,000 of legal advice.
It was also deemed the unstable chalets were presenting a danger to others below. Last week, Portland Coastguard was called to the beach responding to reports of a "large landslip" after a section of cliff face crumbled.
Geologists said the heavy rain in November had weakened many cliffs along the Jurassic coastline.
A series of cliff falls around the coastline over the past year has prompted councils to close vast sections of the South West Coast Path.