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Belle Tout goes the distance

EMERGENCY REPAIRS are under way on the Belle Tout lighthouse following its highly-publicised 17m slide away from the cliff edge at Beachy Head last week.

Main contractor Abbey Pynford is inserting a concrete beam beneath one corner of the structure after it became unstable during the move.

Abbey Pynford head of special contracts Tim Jolley said that after the move it was discovered one corner of the 850t structure had been stabilised by an underground brick vault which had been left behind on the cliff edge.

'We will be reinforcing this area with a concrete beam before completing the jack-down next week,' he said.

Although the move had taken longer than originally planned, Jolley said it had gone very smoothly. 'The force needed to get the building moving was much lower than anticipated, only 2%-3% of the building's weight rather than the 10% we estimated.

'But all the media coverage and the carnival atmosphere among the spectators on site made us very cautious. The building wasn't into its final position until Friday morning.'

650mm into the air will be reinstalled and the structure lowered to its final position.

Jolley said the structure was within 10mm of its intended location, despite arriving slightly on the skew.

'Even the discovery of an unexploded shell nearby only delayed us for about 30 minutes.' he added.

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