Save Whipsiderry Cliffs From Concrete & Environmental Destruction

by Save Whipsiderry

Save Whipsiderry Cliffs From Concrete & Environmental Destruction

by Save Whipsiderry
Save Whipsiderry
Case Owner
We are a not for profit "unincorporated association" formed to prevent the environmental vandalism of Whipsiderry beach & cliffs, and to protect the geology, ecology & heritage of the area.
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Save Whipsiderry
Case Owner
We are a not for profit "unincorporated association" formed to prevent the environmental vandalism of Whipsiderry beach & cliffs, and to protect the geology, ecology & heritage of the area.
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Latest: Sept. 2, 2023

MMO Suspend License For 5 Months

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has SUSPENDED the license for the cliff stabilisation works for a period of 5 months (until 31st January 2024) pending further investigation.
This will include…

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Urgent action is needed to prevent the environmental destruction to the Whipsiderry coast.


Take a look at the photos above. How would you feel if the beautiful, wild cliffs of Whipsiderry were infilled with concrete and further damaged in the process of doing so? That could be the potential result from a catalogue of errors in planning decisions by Cornwall Council relating to a 2007 planning permission to build luxury holiday villas granted to Living Quarter Properties (Porth) (LQP).

Overview

Whipsiderry is on the north coast of Cornwall, just on the edge of Newquay. It is arguably the last wild beach in the local area. It is famed for its spectacular rugged cliffs and important geological features. It is loved by locals and visitors alike for its wildlife and wildness. 

The cliffs of Whipsiderry provide nesting sites for Fulmars and important habitat for bats, the iconic Cornish Chough, Peregrine Falcons and Kestrels.

For LQP to build the villas on top of the unstable cliff , they need to stabilise them by drilling into the cliff face & sea-caves with heavy machinery, inserting 5m steel rods, infilling the sea caves and cliffs above with tonnes of concrete. 

In doing so, they will permanently destroy this wonderful natural environment. In addition, this development will also have implications on the route of the South West Coast Path.

Save Whipsiderry has been formed to obtain advice on legal options to stop the works from proceeding, from specialist planning and environmental solicitors Richard Buxton Solicitors (RBS) and we need your help funding this work.

This work was attempted in February/March 2023, but after concerns were raised by the local community and the HSE, the Duchy of Cornwall (landowner of the Foreshore) suspended their access licence with LQP in March 2023 due to concerns over safety. Conditions of the MMO Marine Licence has meant no works can be carried out between 1st April and 31st August, but this work is due to begin again 1st September 2023.

("stabilisation" works in March 2023)

Case Background

In June 2007, Restormel Borough Council (predecessor to Cornwall Council) granted a planning consent for 7 linked holiday villas to be built on the clifftop at Whipsiderry and this included the requirement for a plan for the cliff stabilisation works prior to any development taking place. 

As a condition of the 2007 planning consent, the developer must “stabilise” the cliffs to protect the development for its lifetime. Condition 2 of the 2007 consent required a detailed schedule of this cliff defence work to be submitted and approved by the LPA prior to any works being undertaken, including the provision for their future maintenance to protect the development during its lifetime.

The former Paradise Cove Hotel, which previously sat on the development site, was then demolished in 2008 but this was done prior to conditions 2 and 5 of the 2007 consent being discharged, as required. 

In January 2018, Cornwall Council granted a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) relating to the 2007 planning consent. But then no further work on the holiday villa development has been undertaken since the demolition and this has been an empty site for 15 years.

In addition to a planning consent, a marine licence is required from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to undertake the cliff works. The MMO granted a marine licence for this work in July 2022, even though there were hundreds of objections from the public and consultees including Cornwall Council acting as the Coast Protection Authority (CPA) and County Ecologist, Environment Agency, Newquay Town Council, and serious concerns were expressed by Natural England and Historic England due to lack of information provided. 

We believe the attempt at the cliff stabilisation works in Feb/Mar 2023 resulted in several breaches of the marine licence conditions and created very significant safety issues resulting in cliff falls which have continued since works ceased in March 2023.

A local, highly qualified & respected geologist now believes that the cliff works are too dangerous to allow further work to continue without risk to life. The face of the cliff has also changed significantly from these recent falls, and we believe the approved scheme of works for the cliffs may no longer protect the development for its lifetime and needs to be reviewed before any further works can continue.

These concerns are being investigated by the MMO and our legal team.

Legal Action

We have already funded an initial review by RBS of the background to the various consents and we now have an initial funding target of £10,000 to fund our legal team to instruct a barrister and raise legal matters with Cornwall Council and the MMO in correspondence before bringing legal proceedings.

We need to act fast on this matter to protect the beautiful wild environment of Whipsiderry. The sooner we hit the target of £10,000 the sooner we will know that we have the committed funding needed to progress the matter.

We anticipate we will seek further funding to commence legal proceedings. However, for obvious reasons we cannot lay out our full legal strategy here, but updates will be provided to keep you informed on legal issues raised with the authorities and their responses to these concerns. 

We cannot do this on our own, but if we pull together as a community, we believe we can. That includes not just people local to Whipsiderry and the immediate area of Newquay but also the wider community of people who know, visit, and love this area.

We appeal to all of you who love Whipsiderry and its beautiful coastline to help us. Please donate whatever you can afford and share this with anybody you know who cares about the area of wild natural coastline that is Whipsiderry. 

Any amount, no matter how small, will help us towards our target and directly supports our fight to keep Whipsy wild!

Once these cliffs are covered in concrete, there is no going back: Whipsiderry will no longer be an untouched natural cove and a green light will have been given for other developers to do as they wish to our beautiful Cornwall!  Now is the time to act!

Thank you for your support #savewhipsiderrycliffs

All funds raised through CrowdJustice go directly to the lawyers working on our behalf.


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Update 4

Save Whipsiderry

Sept. 2, 2023

MMO Suspend License For 5 Months

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has SUSPENDED the license for the cliff stabilisation works for a period of 5 months (until 31st January 2024) pending further investigation.
This will include, but not limited to a geotechnical review to be carried out by an independent party.


This is a DIRECT RESULT of the ongoing work & activity from the Save Whipsiderry group, our instructed solicitors & the wider community 


We have been continually putting pressure on the MMO, and other associated parties to review the license on the basis of “material change” to the cliff face, which means the basis on which the license was granted is now invalid (As well as health & safety issues and other license discrepancies.)
Whilst we are delighted with this news, this is a suspension and not a revocation, so this is NOT OVER YET! 


We will be meeting at 6.30 pm next Thursday 7th at the Godolphin (Henver road) to celebrate this great news, and to discuss next steps – please come along and offer your support – we still need you! 


Thank you from the bottom of of hearts, to all those that have offered their time, donated funds, given advice and shared our story – you know who you are ! We couldn’t do this without you 
(the license suspension notice can be found on the link below. note, there is an error in the date ) 


Update 3

Save Whipsiderry

Aug. 10, 2023

A quick update on what’s been going on since reaching our target!

A big thank you again to everyone who donated to this. Here’s a quick update on what’s been going on since reaching our target. 

We instructed our solicitors to immediately undertake a full investigation into everything that leads up to this point. The reports makes very interesting reading and the information gathered will now inform our next move.  

Secondly, our solicitors have formally written on behalf of Save Whipsiderry Cliffs to the Marine Management Organisation, Cornwall Council and the Duchy of Cornwall outlining our concerns regarding the cliffs. Namely the fragile nature of the cliffs and the impact of the works. 

Understandably, we aren’t able to discuss any specifics so publicly at this point, so we are just so grateful for you all sticking by us and supporting us. We really couldn’t do this without this incredible community. If you aren’t already, please follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

Big Whispy love,

Save Whipsiderry Cliffs

Update 2

Save Whipsiderry

June 28, 2023

Lawyers instructed for next stage!

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the initial fundraising campaign.

In just over 1 week we smashed our £10,000 initial target and thanks to this, have this morning notified our lawyers to proceed with their next course of action. 

This money goes directly to our lawyers to carry out a legal investigation into the various consents and licences put in place for the cliff stabilisation works. They are now looking at instructing a barrister, and plan to raise legal matters with Cornwall Council and the MMO in correspondence before bringing legal proceedings.

We know the fight isn’t over yet, so we will keep everyone updated on our case as it proceeds. 

We honestly could not do this without the support of the Whipsiderry community, both local and from afar. Reading everyone’s comments about why they choose to make a contribution really puts into perspective how important it is to keep our little cove wild and untouched for generations to come.

We will continue to pull together as a wider community to say no to destroying natural habitats and community assets for the sake of a greedy few. This is allowed to happen too often, but we say NO at Whipsiderry.

Onwards we go!

Save Whipsiderry Cliffs

Update 1

Save Whipsiderry

June 20, 2023

Halfway there!

Wow! In less than 2 days, we've already reached over £5000! Thank you to every single person who has donated so far.

With just under £5,000 left to go, reaching our initial target will allow our lawyers to instruct a barrister and raise legal matters with Cornwall Council and the MMO in correspondence before bringing legal proceedings.

We'll keep everyone posted about our case on here and across socials. Remember to share and donate if you haven't already -- help us reach our target so we can continue our legal fight to keep our beautiful Whipsy wild! 

Thank you!

Save Whipsiderry Cliffs

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