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Eroding cliff face to be strengthened, says Government

Undercutting of a vulnerable cliff face near the Bermudiana Beach Resort (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A receding South Shore cliff next to a resort development is to be strengthened after waves cut into exposed rock, according to the Ministry of Public Works.

Details came after residents voiced concern about the drastic erosion next to the Bermudiana Beach Resort site, where a protective wall covering soft rock at the cliff base comes to an end.

Environmental groups and residents have warned repeatedly that the stretch of coastline poses a danger to developments on the site, formerly known as Grand Atlantic.

Critics of the development, originally intended for affordable housing, were accused of scaremongering and politically motivated sabotage after Grand Atlantic failed to attract buyers.

It was repurposed as a four-star resort under the Hilton Tapestry brand, expected to open early this summer.

David Wingate, the former government conservation officer, said the weak limestone in that stretch of coastline meant it would fall back roughly one metre a decade – and that even rain, which can dissolve the rock, was able to bring down vulnerable sections of the cliff face.

Developer, Gilbert Lopes, also highlighted the damage to weak areas of the cliff from the root systems of invasive Casuarina pines, which he said would need to be culled.

Yesterday, the ministry said officials were aware of the erosion and rockfalls hitting the shoreline at the end of the protective wall, where the Southlands park begins.

A spokesman said: “The ministry has been made aware of concerns over the integrity of the structure located to the west of our Bermudiana Beach Resort – which falls within the remit of the Department of Parks.

“A plan is already in place to carry out work to protect and reinforce the cliff structure once assessments have been completed.”

He added: “This work should also include the removal of Casuarina trees which have contributed to the cliff erosion.

“Work will also be carried out to bolster the wall below the cliff to further strengthen the embankment.”

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Published January 24, 2023 at 6:30 pm (Updated January 24, 2023 at 6:30 pm)

Eroding cliff face to be strengthened, says Government

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