Fragile Dysart cliff close to collapse

Collapsed wall at path connecting Dysart harbour steps and Sailor's Walk
Collapsed wall at path connecting Dysart harbour steps and Sailor's Walk
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URGENT calls are being made to repair a dangerous cliff near Dysart harbour before it collapses.

Despite being fenced off, the fragile section has been branded an “accident just waiting to happen.”

Local photographer Bill Mitchell, who took snaps of the sandstone rock face last week, said: “I was approached by a resident who said he is worried about the time it has taken the Council to take some action on this as the local children can easily access this area from the beach.

“Residents want to know how much longer the Council need to start doing something about this?”

The section, situated near the steps at West Pier going up to Sailors Walk path, collapsed in November.

As a safety measure, Fife Council placed fences around the exposed sandstone and blocked access to the steps leading up to and down the path.

However, a spokesperson for Dysart Sailing Club said local children were easily moving barriers aside and ignoring warnings.

“The council have fenced it in twice but the fencing has been washed away by the sea, leaving the frontage exposed,” he said.

“Anybody can walk underneath the rocks that are still hanging.

“It seems that the Council’s policy is just to let nature take its course.”

He warned that if the “huge rock” collapsed it would take the wall and steps down with it.

According to the club, coastal erosion had washed away material which had been packed between the bank and the sandstone wall to keep the path wide.

“That material comes from the mouth of the harbour,” the spokesperson commented.

“We always fill that in. We bring in contractors at the end of April who shift 30 - 40 tonnes of material which they level into a gentle slope.

“It’s a sheer face just now but we’ve had exceptionally bad weather these past few years and it’s getting worse.”

He added: “We are worried about rockfall at the back of the harbour - there’s been further collapse.The Council says there’s no money to remedy it.”

Ross Tulloch, lead professional with Fife Council’s civil/structural engineering department said the authority was considering the best course of action.

He commented: “This is a natural sandstone cliff and coastal erosion has left a dangerous overhang.

“At the moment we’ve put a temporary fence up to keep people away from the site.

“We now need to consider whether we permanently fence the area off and allow nature to take its course or whether we intervene and bring some of the rock down manually,” he concluded.