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People in Newquay say cliff top building could put lives at risk

Newquay Town Council wants new planning restrictions limiting building close to the cliff edge. Photo: ITV West Country

People in Newquay say cliff top building developments could put lives at risk.

The Newquay Central Residents Association say regular rock falls have shown the cliffs are unstable.

Newquay Town Council wants to bring in new planning restrictions that would limit building close to the cliff edge.

The Newquay cliff tops with stunning views are a popular development area. Credit: ITV West Country

Plans to replace a former hotel with seven houses, nine apartments and a bungalow have caused concern amongst neighbours.

The Trebarwith Hotel building sits on a plot right on the cliff edge above one of Newquay's most popular beaches.

Resident Anne Maria Kavanagh Atkins says the cliffs are "so unstable".

"We've had quite a few rockfalls in this area this year, one as early as July end of July and two little children could have got killed easily luckily they had the sense when they heard the noise to run and we have to highlight the fact to not allow these developers to build on the cliffs.''

''I'm not against evolution of the town I'm not against building and modernisation of the town I'm just fearful of the beautiful coastline that we've got and the volatile dangerous coastline that we've got and it is coming to a point where the cliff falls are going to injure someone.''

In a statement on behalf of the developer Trebarwith Hotel 52 Ltd, an architectural consultant told ITV West Country:

''A coastal stability assessment confirmed that whilst the top of the cliff is experiencing some coastal erosion, the building will be beyond a predicted 100 year maximum erosion line. cliff stabilisation measures are to be incorporated which will be a significant improvement to public safety.''

Trebarwith Hotel developers say they will add Credit: ITV West Country

The town council, Cornwall Council and Newquay's MP seem united in supporting the cause.

It's a beautiful area and I can understand why people would want to live on the edge of the cliff because of the views but we've got a significant cliff falls across the whole of the bay and particularly in this area at the moment and it would be irresponsible to allow people to build on the edge of the cliffs with that option in mind.

– Cllr Geoff Crown Cornwall Council
Newquay Town Council says Credit: ITV West Country

The Trebarwith application has not gone before planners yet. In future building on the cliff edge could be more difficult.

The Town council is working on a neighbourhood plan that would bring in tighter restrictions to prevent developments close to the coastline.

We're having a number of proposals in like don't build too close to the end of the cliff. If you're going to build anywhere near a cliff you have to provide your drainage plans because it's the water it's the extra water you concrete the cliff you just totally change the amount of water coming over the cliff it comes over the edge of the cliff and it damages it.

– Cllr Joanna Kenny, Newquay Town Council
Cliff falls can be seriously dangerous for people on the beach. Credit: ITV West Country

MP Steve Double has written to Cornwall Council to express his concerns.

I don't want to see over development on the coast I want to protect it and preserve it for future generations. I would far rather these developments waited until that neighbourhood plan was in place to see exactly what the local community want for the future development of this area and then bring forward applications in line with what is in that plan.

– Steve Double, MP Cons, St Austell & Newquay

The planning restrictions are unlikely to brought in until next spring.

In the meantime a flurry of applications for cliff top builds have come in and may have to be decided on sooner.

  • Watch ITV West Country's Kathy Wardle's news report below: