Video: Landslip leaves clifftop homes on a knife-edge

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FOUR homes are at risk of collapse after a “significant” landslip on the Yorkshire coast it emerged last night, as forecasters warned of the continued risk from freezing conditions

It is not the first time residents of bungalows at Knipe Point, Scarborough, have faced losing their homes, and three properties on the crumbling cliff side had to be demolished in 2008 after a landslip.

The clifftop homes on a knife-edge

The clifftop homes on a knife-edge

Yesterday it was confirmed that, following a landslip on Monday, four homes are now perilously close to the cliff, and talks were being held to see what action needed to be taken.

On Monday, residents woke up to find hundreds of tons of earth had again crashed down from the settlement overlooking Cayton Bay, North Yorkshire, into Cayton Woods.

A strip of land measuring 6ft by 40ft long disappeared, bringing artist Kane Cunningham’s home within 4ft of the cliff edge.

The decking of his neighbour’s property – which was already abandoned and being cleared out by a removal company yesterday – is almost overhanging the cliff edge, above a 70ft drop into the woods.

Mr Cunningham said: “This is an environmental disaster. On Monday there was a massive landslip at the rear of my home which has now been condemned by Scarborough Council. I have been given three weeks to knock my house down.”

Residents’ Association Chairman, Malcolm Pirks, who lives next door but one to Mr Cunningham, said: “We can’t believe it’s happening again.”

Residents have been negotiating for years with Scarborough Borough Council to rebuild the homes on land at nearby Crossgates. Residents have recently obtained a consultant’s report which they claim links the instability of the cliff to leaks from a pipe used to discharge effluent from the McCain’s oven chip and frozen food factory two miles away on the outskirts of Scarborough.

Part of the pipeline is understood to be operated by McCain, however, it is understood it becomes part of the Yorkshire Water network to the north of the site.

A spokesperson for Scarborough Borough Council said yesterday: “We can confirm there has been further significant land slippage at Knipe Point in Scarborough.

“Four properties, which are currently unoccupied, are potentially at risk of collapse. Owners have been notified and we are liaising with North Yorkshire Building Control to assess the stability of the properties and immediate surrounding area with a view to agreeing what action needs to be taken next.”

Forecasters have warned the cold snap will remain until at least the weekend, with temperatures expected to have dipped as low at minus 8C in the region last night.

There was further light snow in parts of Yorkshire and other parts of the country yesterday and a yellow weather warning was in place across the county because of the risk of ice on untreated surfaces. Today is likely to see further light sleet or snow, particularly inland, with possible accumulations on higher ground.

Many schools reopened yesterday, but around 30 schools in West Yorkshire remained shut because of the snow and ice. A number of councils across the region have also warned waste collections would be disrupted in the coming days.

A McCain’s spokesman said last night: “Like everyone else in Scarborough, we are well aware of the longstanding geological issues at Knipe Point. “

McCain’s said it had participated on a voluntary basis in past authoritative studies which have concluded “inherent and unstable geological conditions” at Knipe Point were the most probable reason for the issue.

It has asked geological experts to look at the latest report before commenting further.

Yorkshire Water said it had received the report. “Due to the length and high level of technical information in the report we have not yet been able to fully consider it,” a spokesman said.