CLIFFS between Blue Anchor and Watchet were falling at an alarming rate a decade ago, according to concerned locals.

Wet weather in March 2014 resulted in the cliffs crumbling more and more.

Anne Cleeveland, who lived in Watchet, said: “It is worrying and, unfortunately, this is something which happens when the weather gets bad, especially with the high winds.

“We were told that West Bay would never be developed on and then static vans were placed on a crumbling cliff. It’s just not safe."

A spokesperson for the former West Somerset Council said: “We are fully aware of the cliff erosion at Blue Anchor and we have submitted a substantial bid to the Environment Agency.

“It is hoped the bid will provide enough funds to extend the sea wall protection, provide rock armour to break up the power of the waves and pin specific sections of the cliff, improving their stability.”

Somerset County Gazette: The play area in the garden of the Blue Anchor Hotel. The play area in the garden of the Blue Anchor Hotel.

A spokesman from the Environment Agency said the estimated cost of coastal defence improvements next to the Blue Anchor Hotel would cost up to £500,000.

They said: “Cliff erosion further along the coast towards Watchet is a separate issue and any possible re-routing of the main road as a result of further erosion will have to be funded by the local highways authority.”

Cllr Justine Baker said: “This is a key tourist area and, with the Easter holidays coming when the area will be welcoming tourists from across the country, the cliffs in this area need addressing as a matter of urgency.

“The cliffs have been causing problems for many years, however with the recent wet weather, local people are telling me they are crumbling at a faster rate and it is causing many in the local community huge concern.”

In January 2023, the B3191 Cleeve Hill, which connects Watchet and Blue Anchor, was shut due to fears over coastal erosion.

Somerset Council said in March that the road would be closed for “years rather than months”, with estimates for re-routing the road inland ranging from £30 million to £60 million.

Politicians have pledged to keep fighting for government funding for a new road link to connect Watchet to its neighbouring villages and provide an alternative route to Minehead.