PLANNING PERMISSION has been secured by Wealden District Council in advance to relocate the Birling Gap steps to make sure access to the beaches around the Seven Sisters can be maintained.
The ongoing erosion of the chalk cliffs means that the start of the staircase and viewing platform will need to be located at least three metres inland from their current position.
The new planning permission will remain in place for three years.
Wealden District Cllr Johanna Howell said: “The staircase, which provides the only access down to one of the most photographed locations in England, becomes more vulnerable as the cliff behind it is continually eroded.
“The staircase is designed to be periodically moved back to the cliff side as the rock face is washed away by the sea. “
The staircase needed to be moved in the event of bad weather, according to Cllr Howell.
She added: “With another season of winter storms on its way, we felt it was best to be prepared so that any necessary re-siting can be carried out as quickly as possible.”