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Mum wins fight to get dangerous mine workings on Perranporth beach blocked off

By bevcoumbe  |  Posted: May 22, 2013

  • Eleanor Clarke

  • onelife

  • One of three mine openings on Perranporth beach that are to be closed off with steel grilles.

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THE mother of a schoolgirl who fell to her death while exploring a mine adit on Perranporth beach has won her fight to force authorities to make safe other dangerous mine works.

Cornwall Council is working on a new strategy on how it deals with mine hazards across the county after demands from Nin Clarke, whose daughter Eleanor died in 2010.

The council is also surveying Porthtowan beach, where similar mining features were highlighted by Perranzabuloe Parish Council member Dave Webster, who accused the authority of having an “uneven-handed approach”.

Perranzabuloe council has just 24 hours to block off entrances to three mining holes on Perranporth beach.

Cornwall Council warned it that it could face prosecution if it failed to meet the deadline to ensure the work was completed in time for next week’s school holiday.

The larger authority imposed the abatement notice in November after declaring three mine openings were statutory nuisances posing serious risk to beachgoers.

On May 14 the parish council withdrew its appeal against the order, saying it would carry out the work.

However, chairman Linda Higgins said the specialist steel grilles it had appointed a contractor to install had yet to be fabricated and would not be fitted by tomorrow’s deadline.

She said: “Nobody could be sadder than we are at what happened. It is highly unlikely that we will meet the deadline as the features need to be measured by specialist engineers using climbing gear.”

Two features, she said, would be blocked using galvanised hinged grilles with padlocks. The third posed a more serious challenge as it stands near the top of the cliff face.

Despite being forced to carry out the work, the parish council stood by its stance, favouring education over remedial action.

Mrs Higgins said: “We met rescue people and experts and came to the conclusion that education is the best way we can cover the issue.”

Mrs Clarke told the West Briton she was thankful the work was finally being done and pleased it had led to a change in the way the authority dealt with the perils left by the county’s mining heritage.

She said: “I did this in Eleanor’s memory. She would have expected nothing less of me. Knowing that they are being dealt with is an anxiety that has been taken away. It is a shame that I have had to fight in this way to get something positive done.”

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3 comments

  • break  |  May 23 2013, 6:34PM

    The majority of potholes in Cornwall probably qualify as mineshafts,but I can't see CC doing anything about that.Everytime I see something which could be dangerous now,I'm tempted to complain to Cornwall Cornwall about it.

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  • PaddyTrembath  |  May 22 2013, 11:42PM

    The trouble with that josdave, is that, this being Cornwall, no-one would be able to get anywhere near the cliffs as almost everywhere else would also be fenced around to keep people safe from the dangerous mine works. The only open spaces left will be, possibly, somewhere in North Cornwall, and St Micheals Mount.

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  • josdave  |  May 22 2013, 4:01PM

    What next fence off the 300+ miles of cliff around the county? Put up warning signs yes but in the end people must use common sense before they forget how to.

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