Beachy Head’s lighthouse will have to be relocated further inland, its owner has said, just over 20 years after it was first moved away from the cliff edge.
Belle Tout is now just 20m (65ft) away from the 162m (530ft) drop near Eastbourne, East Sussex, after tonnes of chalk cliff fell on to the beach below this week.
The lighthouse, which featured in the James Bond film The Living Daylights, was first moved in 1999 due to fears that erosion would see it plunge over the precipice. Engineers used 22 hydraulic jacks to shift the 850-tonne structure 17m (56ft) backwards.
However, the latest cliff fall has prompted its owners to start planning another costly shift in position further inland.
David Shaw, who bought Belle Tout with his wife in 2008, told The Telegraph he wished the previous owners had seized the opportunity to move it even further inland when they had the chance.
“They could have gone the same distance again – I guess cost was a serious consideration,” he said.
“I guess they thought it would be moved far back enough in their lifetime and they were thinking about selling. I wish they’d thought that way – it would be more costly long term to keep moving it.
“When it’s necessary to move again, it could go back the same distance again, back to the perimeter wall, giving it another 50 or 60 years. We’ve not in imminent danger. It’s mother nature’s way of telling us that she’s in charge.”