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Clifftop path near Looe could collapse 'at any time'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 19, 2014

  • Cracks at Talland Bay coastal footpath. Pic by Paul Hamlyn.

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A CLIFFTOP path near Looe could collapse at any time after the Valentine's Day storms further loosened a giant section of earth beneath it.

Huge cracks had already begun to appear in the path at Talland Bay – but torrential rain on Friday has caused them to widen even more.

The section of the South West Coast Path remains closed, although an alternative route has been identified to allow ramblers to walk between Talland and Polperro.

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall councillor for West Looe and portfolio holder for Environment, Heritage and Planning, said: "It's quite a bit worse now on top and the Valentine's Day storm has taken part of the cliff out beneath.

"It's being attacked from both sides and it could go at any time, especially if we keep getting more rain."

Engineers from Cormac, Cornwall Council's highways contractor, have visited the site and confirmed a cliff slip is imminent.

The path section of path between Talland Bay and Hendersick will remain closed in the interests of public safety.

"When it goes we'll have to assess what can be done," said Mrs Hannaford. "I want to stress that the route is still available for people to walk and the detour is about 10 minutes. It does include a steep hill to climb but a good climb is healthy for you."

A Cornwall Council spokesman said: "The cliff will fall at some point but we can never predict when.

"We won't be able to stabilise it until it comes down by itself. There's very little we can do but we can make sure the public are safe. It could be a range of things that could make the cliff fall - high tides, cold weather - but because it's soft ground this will happen more often."

No one at the South West Coast Path Association was available for comment.

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