Video: Huge cliff collapses next to luxury homes development site

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Dramatic footage shows thousands of tonnes of rock plummeting down a 200ft cliff face next to a site where developers plan to build luxury homes.

The cliff can be seen crumbling away in the alarming video, which was captured by a local resident. Campaigners have long battled a proposal to build seven terraced houses above Whipsiderry Beach - and now they have called to halt building altogether before someone gets killed.

‘How no one has died is an absolute miracle’

Earlier this month, Living Quarter Properties submitted plans to add rock bolts and meshing to the cliffs to help stabilise them, that is still being considered by the council. They claimed in the latest application the cliff was 'more stable' than before and there was now "exposure of good quality rock on its face". But the Save Whipsiderry Cliffs campaign said the latest incident, which happened on 13 April, should mean the scheme was now scrapped for good.

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The aftermath of the cliff fall at Whipsiderry Beach, Newquay. Cornwall. The aftermath of the cliff fall at Whipsiderry Beach, Newquay. Cornwall.
The aftermath of the cliff fall at Whipsiderry Beach, Newquay. Cornwall. | Save Whipsiderry Cliffs

Andrew Robey, a member of the campaign, said: “To try an stabilise [the cliff] with a few rock bolts and netting is not sufficient and working on that cliff raises safety issues. How no one has died is an absolute miracle. What we want is for Cornwall Council to stop the plans.

Previous cliff fall

A previous cliff fall in November last year saw an estimated 20k tonnes tumble. The site was earlier used back in March last year for a protest by locals who were campaigning to have work stopped to fill in caves at the base of the cliffs, to enable the properties to be built on top of the 200-foot cliff.

Save Whipsiderry Cliffs group said contractors had been excavating sea caves, with heavy machinery, drilling into rock, inserting steel rods and filling the caves with concrete, including part of the cliff face above. Due to the damage caused by the fall, the steps and surrounding footpath were shut for safety reasons to allow specialist engineers to carry out investigations on site.

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