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VIDEO: New warnings after Oddicombe beach landslip

By Herald Express  |  Posted: April 05, 2013

slipping:   The  of cliff fall above Oddicombe Beach   Andy Styles TQAS20130403C-001_X

slipping: The of cliff fall above Oddicombe Beach Andy Styles TQAS20130403C-001_X

Comments (11)

FRESH safety warnings have been issued after an extensive landslip at Oddicombe Beach.

A large chunk of rock and rubble fell from the cliff on Tuesday evening.

Coastguards, police and council surveyors were called and a large area cordoned off.

It was the second substantial landslide there in four days.

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The scale of coastal erosion has been captured by several readers in picture form.

They show the red cliffs continuing to collapse into the sea with the property Ridgemont House at the top and at the mercy of the elements.

Video by Colleen Smith

Neighbours who live near the house say the cliff collapsed shortly before 9pm on Tuesday.

One neighbour said: "I went up to the bedroom and looked out and instead of garden, all I could see was the sea."

Another neighbour said: "I had a phone call from a friend at 9pm. He just said 'the cliff's gone'."

Residents in Redcliffe Road say the area has been plagued by sightseers coming from all over the country.

At Oddicombe beach cafe, owner Adele Farrell said: "The whole landscape of the beach has changed overnight, but Oddicombe beach is totally safe, it's only Little Oddicombe that's falling."

Herald Express reader Steve Fuller saw a woman retrieving her dog from the base of the cliff shortly after a heavy collapse.

Torbay Council says warning signs have been in place for several years.

A busy weekend for the emergency crews started when residents living in Middle Warberry Road reported a boundary wall had collapsed

There were fears one of the people living at the house was trapped underneath, but after a thermal imaging search it was found nobody was hurt.

The incident happened on Saturday, March 30 at about 8pm.

The council is assessing damage caused to beach huts in Preston and at Goodrington.

Photos taken by reader Phil Chappell on Saturday morning also show damage to the front door of a hut.

A council spokesman said: "Beach huts were damaged on Friday night blocking the road at Marine Parade Preston, these were cleared by beach staff on Saturday morning. Hut users are being notified. Other hut sites affected by the high seas were: Goodrington and Broadsands."

In Teignmouth the council is still picking up the pieces of last week's landslip which blocked access to Ness Beach in Shaldon.

The beach is likely to remain closed for a another week.

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11 comments

  • ClaraClare  |  July 01 2013, 10:25PM

    I remember sitting in a Hotel dining room at breakfast in the 1980's looking across from the Babacombe Downs at this gorgeous house , at the time it had an amazing large garden and looked absolutely stunning, the mist was gently clearing upwards from the garden. I remember thinking id love to own this house (which we now know as Ridgemount House) - Very sad indeed - Allegedly before all its problems transpired it was worth 1.5 million. The swimming pool has even gone over the cliff - The Owner of Tate and Lyle had this house built as a retirement home in the 1930's for himself.

  • spindleshanks  |  April 08 2013, 8:15AM

    Actually agree with david0202. It should have been cleared well before the site subsided on to the beach and into the sea. The report I read years ago made it clear there was not one square inch of the site that would be allowed to be built on by anyone owning Ridgemont House; the reason we walked away from buying the place from the then owner when it was placed on the market. The planning application in 2004 I mentioned earlier was for the demolition of the house. Subsidence usually implies movement in a downward direction and given the site's location next to a cliff there was only one place this property was ever going to end up. Torbay Council should submit its clear up bill to the current owner of the property daft enough to buy it in the first place so that she can argue it out with her insurance company.

  • Bleach  |  April 08 2013, 7:19AM

    There's a difference between subsidence and falling down the cliff onto the beach. Again, read the OP's post.

  • spindleshanks  |  April 07 2013, 5:39PM

    Nice to see someone spending all Sunday afternoon pressing the red arrows. Checked the Torbay Council's planning website today and whilst most of the correspondence regarding the site the house stood on seems to have been deleted from a planning application made in early 2004, one letter remains clearly making reference to the issue of subsidence. Note 2004.

  • Bleach  |  April 07 2013, 5:34PM

    The original poster was suggesting it should have been demolished to prevent it fouling the beach. My point was that it was far enough back from the cliff edge that no-one expected it was going to end up at the bottom of the cliff, that by the time it did become a possibility it had become unsafe to enter the site. No-one was suggesting that it wouldn't fall down, that much was obvious.

  • spindleshanks  |  April 07 2013, 2:17PM

    Perhaps the buyer should have checked the site the house stood on Torbay Council's website before she bought the property unseen at auction? Years ago it was made clear nothing would be allowed to be built on the site if the house was cleared because of subsidence risk. That is fact. To suggest that this collapse was not anticipated is just wrong.

    |   -7
  • feejane  |  April 06 2013, 10:16PM

    on the plus side been up to babbacombe down today full of people taking photos of the house failing into the sea, ice cream and chip sales doing well, the local trade is laughing! all we need is a postcard from Babbacombe "wish you were here" and an arrow pointing to the house!

    |   1
  • Bleach  |  April 06 2013, 7:21PM

    @maryhomes Firstly, there's no need to be rude. I wasn't rude to you, surely it's not too much to expect you be courteous. To the real issue though. The rear elevation of the house before was 70m from the cliff edge - you can check it out on Google maps - and that didn't even begin to change until the main fall earlier this week. 70m is a pretty good distance from a cliff edge, a good deal further than many. Are you suggesting that every house in England within 70m of a cliff edge be demolished and cleared? because that's an awful lot of property. Once again, the fall was enormous and fast. Estimates lie in the region of 1/4m tonnes. Nobody expected such a large fall.

    |   8
  • maryhomes  |  April 05 2013, 12:10PM

    @bleach.. 10yrs ago people who bought a house on a cliff top didnt no the sea would erode into it? Are you for real? Errosion has been around hundreds of years. Saying that this is Devon and people are slow to catch up with thinking for themselves. ON a seperate note, it is what devon needs.. The been knocked down and start again.

    |   -19
  • Bleach  |  April 05 2013, 11:57AM

    Because 10 years ago, given the distance of the house from the cliff edge, nobody thought for a minute it would end up so badly. Although there's been a crack up the side of the house and across its patio for some time the real movement didn't start until January. Even only 2 or 3 weeks ago it didn't look like the damage would be as great as this and by the time it did become apparent the site was far too dangerous to enter. Some things are just nobody's fault.

    |   6

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