He said: “We obviously don’t like landslips, but they do happen occasionally because of the very nature of cliffs.
“But if you can have one it’s probably in the perfect place for it really.”
Following the landslip the area was cordoned off from the East Cliff lift to the next groyne and the zig zag path was closed all day.
The landslip was 60m to the right of the East Cliff Lift and the immediate area was cordoned off all day.
Mr Saunders said the landslip came as a surprise to the council: “Following the recent spell of heavy rain there was a concern that landslides might happen, so after Christmas we had a geotechnical expert do a survey of the cliffs.
“We wanted to be safe and make sure nothing was coming that we didn’t know about.
“We thought we had that in hand – but this landslip has slightly beaten us to it.”
A spokesperson for Dorset Police said it received a call at 11.54pm on Thursday from a member of the public reporting a large landslide.
Resources from Dorset Police, Dorset Fire and Rescue, South West Ambulance service and HM coastguard were sent to the scene.
“A review of Bournemouth Borough Council CCTV footage indicated the landslide had occurred over an hour previously at 10.55pm”, a spokesperson said.
“An assessment of the scene identified that a 20-metre-wide strip of the cliff face, consisting mainly of topsoil and vegetation, had been dislodged and fallen across the beach road.
“No injuries have been reported and a specialist search team was deployed to confirm no persons were trapped within the fallen debris.
“The local authority is now managing the scene with the beach access road remaining closed for clearance work to be undertaken.”
The promenade and zig zag path are likely to stay closed all weekend and the land train will not be running until further notice.
Picture of Bournemouth landslip from Blue Planet Society
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