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Crumbling South Devon cliffs threaten to bring down £155,000 Torquay home

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 09, 2013

  • Ridgemont House (above) at the top of Oddicombe Cliffs in Torquay, (left), looks like it is turning to jelly after landslides caused by heavy rain

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A controversial cliff top house that was bought for nearly £155,000 has started to collapse after the latest in a series of devastating landslides.

Ridgemont House at the top of Oddicombe Cliffs in Torquay, has now started to crumble.

It hit headlines in 2010 when a landslide hit it just a week after the property had been sold at auction to retired police officer Sue Diamond for £155,000.

Legal disputes are still thought to be ongoing and the house is fenced off.

Miss Diamond who is disabled, made a telephone bid of £154,500 for the house in February 2010, without viewing it or having a survey done.

But just eight days after the auction, a landslide left the 1930s house just 50 yards from a drop into the sea, and signalled the started of a lengthy legal battle.

At the time Miss Diamond said the house was uninhabitable and worth only £3,500. Now it is on the verge of total obliteration after the most recent landslide caused a large portion of it to collapse.

Since the sale Miss Diamond has been engaged in a legal war.

Explaining her decision to buy the house in Torquay at the time, she said her Chiswick home in London had been flooded by burst pipes and she thought the ground floor of the seaside property would be ideal for a disabled person.

Just before the most recent landslide in Torquay, Les Watson, 68, from a neighbouring property which is for sale, said: "We're selling up because it is too big for us. We are going to downsize in Torquay. We have lived here nine years. We love it here but it is too much for us to manage.

"So many people have come to view it. Our neighbours moved here earlier this year so they weren't put off by the risk of a landslide. I don't think it will go for years."

Another neighbour, a 40-year-old woman who didn't want to be named, said she has been renting the house since March.

She said: "We came here because of the location and the house. It's got a great sea view. We didn't know anything about the landslide.

"We found out from neighbours. The possibility of a major landslide worries me slightly.

"It's quite a way from the edge, but if there's another one or two landslides these houses will be next to go."

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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  • Charlespk  |  February 10 2013, 6:31PM

    And once again just the lawyers will make money. . The original conveyance should never have taken place. . It has a smell of 'horse-meat' about it.

    |   -2
  • cliffdiver  |  February 10 2013, 11:38AM

    this house had structural problems back in 2000, somebody's be conned up proper

  • oddman  |  February 10 2013, 8:33AM

    bleach Daily Mail owns this paper

    |   -2
  • spindleshanks  |  February 09 2013, 12:40PM

    Kirstie to Phil - "What's your mystery house got to offer to our buyers then Phil?" Phil to Kirtsie "Views to die for Kirsty and Location, Location............Lowcation"

    |   -2
  • ThatsYourWife  |  February 09 2013, 12:08PM

    An ex Police Officer didn't bother to go to the scene but just made a telephone call. I wonder where she learned that technique.

    |   10
  • ziggyblue  |  February 09 2013, 11:48AM

    When is the time going to come when Oddicombe Beach itself will be closed. The lady who bought this house was a bit naive not to have had a survey or even looked at the house. Definitely a case of "buyer beware!"

    |   5
  • nicold  |  February 09 2013, 10:29AM

    'Who would live in a house like this? David, its over to you'

    |   -4
  • Bleach  |  February 09 2013, 8:55AM

    Why write an article when you can just copy it from the Daily Mail.

    |   5