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New council fears of landslide above Babbacombe beach

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 15, 2012

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A GEOLOGIST has warned a 'major fall is imminent' on the cliffs at Oddicombe.

The area was hit by a landslide last week following weeks of rain.

A spokesman for Torbay Council has revealed: "Following recent rockfalls in other coastal areas the council has appointed an engineering geologist to carry out a survey of several locations around Torbay's coastline.

"The location giving him most concern is the high cliffs behind the closed section of Oddicombe Beach, Torquay, and it is his opinion a major rock fall is imminent in this area.

"As a result we would once again strongly urge members of the public to adhere to the Beach Closed warning signs which are in place for their safety."

The Herald Express coverage of a major fall in 2010 hit international headlines after it emerged the house at the top of Oddicombe Cliffs had been bought shortly before a major fall.

In February 2010, 5,000 tonnes of boulders crashed down on to Oddicombe Beach just below nearby Ridgemont House.

The week before the property had been sold at auction for £155,000.

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

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.

"There are concerns about Ridgemont House being derelict because it encourages people. It's a bit of a tourist attraction at weekends. People are interested in buying it and have asked us about it.

"Lots of kids come and nose around Ridgemont House. We are all concerned about potential increased burglary. We have had to call the police a couple of times because of kids hanging around acting suspiciously.

"The possibility of a major landslide worries me slightly. I wouldn't buy this place because of the risk. It's quite a way from the edge, but if there's another one or two landslides these houses will be next to go."

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  • reiwruwiou  |  December 18 2012, 1:08PM

    howardd1, when buying a house anywhere "caveat emptor" applies. In other words, don't buy it unless you check it out thoroughly. Some solicitors and surveyors have made lucrative careers out of carrying out such checks. As I understand it, the house was sold at auction with "Structural Issues" - enough to make most rational people ask a few questions. The person who bought that house wasn't conned, just mind-blowingly naive and breath-takingly stupid.

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  • howardd1  |  December 16 2012, 9:27PM

    still dont alter the fact bleach , that she was conned but torbay is good at that

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  • Bleach  |  December 16 2012, 8:36AM

    Get your facts right, @howardd1. The woman who bought it was stupid enough to buy it unseen and without a survey. If she'd bothered to even look first she'd have noticed it shored up on the inside and with a 2 inch wide crack running from the roof, right down the back of the house and across the patio. Please amend the headline, it's Oddicombe beach, not Babbacombe. How many times has this article been posted on this site?

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  • howardd1  |  December 15 2012, 8:09PM

    if there is a fault , it will split right up the middle , at the moment its landslide ridgemount house is valueless , the person who bought it was conned

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