A public meeting has been called over the future of one of Devon's most popular beaches after a series of landslips washed away most of the road and steps which lead to it.

Access to Watcombe Beach, near Torquay, has been gradually deteriorating for some time but recent storm damage and coastal erosion has led the local authority to declare the beach off-limits.

Torbay Council's public safety team says the steps down to the beach are now unsafe.

Watcombe Beach used to be one of Torquay's most popular sun traps. Credit: ITV News West Country

It seems to have got worse quickly in the last couple of weeks. The main thing is that the steps are now dangerous. There has been ground movement and cliff falls elsewhere around the Bay.

Swithin Long, Torbay councillor for Watcombe & Barton
The steps to the beach now resemble a waterfall after a series of recent cliff falls and landslips. Credit: Devon Live

Photos and video of the beach reveal the extent of the damage.

The steps are barely navigable and the service road to the cafe is impassable.

Pieces of concrete and tarmac have exposed gaps of more than a foot wide in places.

The beach's access road is now inaccessible. Credit: Devon Live


Torbay Council has closed the beach because it is unsafe. Credit: Devon Live

There has been public outcry over the way the once thriving beach has been allowed to fall into disrepair.

Local councillor Swithin Long says the combination of global warming, coastal erosion and central government cutbacks means tough decisions have to be made by the community.

The public meeting will be held at the Medway Centre in Medway Road, Barton on Friday March 27 at 7pm.

Whilst the council is financially challenged, it might still be possible to scrape some money together.

Swithin Long, Torbay councillor for Watcombe & Barton
Credit: Devon Live