Somerset pub at risk of falling into the sea set to reopen after emergency work to cliffs

  • Watch Ben McGrail's report

A Somerset pub which was at risk of falling into the sea because of crumbling cliffs is set to reopen after emergency work stabilised the coastline.

The Blue Anchor, near Watchet, closed in the autumn of 2018 because of the increasing risk it could collapse.

However temporary rock armour was installed on the beach during the winter to protect the cliffs. It is hoped a permanent solution will be given permission within the next 12 months.

Cara Strom has been able to complete repair works on her home after the temporary cliff protection was installed Credit: ITV News West Country

The pub is owned by Cara Strom, who still lives in the house attached to it. She says the works have made a huge difference: "It’s changed everything - I’m feeling positive now, really positive.

"Since they’ve put the temporary works in we can’t feel it inside anymore, you can’t feel the waves hitting. Now they’ve done that and they have proper plans in place to do the full scheme I’ve been able to start work on the building again."

Cara has begun repairs to her home and has even decided to open the pub again. The Blue Anchor is set to reopen to the public on 17 May, when Covid restrictions are further eased.

She said: "It’ll be managed by somebody else but the important thing is having it open for the holiday-makers and for the local community.

"It will feel alive again - it’s just been sitting here for so long. It feels like it’s coming back to life a little bit."

Dozens of huge boulders have been placed at the base of the cliff Credit: ITV News West Country

The news will be celebrated in the area as West Somerset gears up for what is set to be a busy summer of tourism. It will also be welcomed because there were times when it was feared Cara would lose her home for good.

She said: "There has been so much support, so much support from all over the country, really.

"People that have visited here before, people that used to come here as a child, people that have never even been there. There’s been so much support - I feel really lucky."

The local authorities are now aiming for consent for a permanent solution here which could be installed within the next two years.

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