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£300,000 Torquay cliff top home may face demolition after landslip

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

  • remedial works: Demolition experts use a crane to demolish a wall suspended in midair after the landslide

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A £300,000 cliff top home in Torquay may be demolished after a landslide during the worst of last week's weather.

Building experts are surveying the stability of the property in St Lukes Road North after part of the garden fell more than 12 metres into the property below in Warren Road.

The landslide has undermined the path surrounding the property and demolition experts with a crane removed part of a boundary wall left suspended in mid air when the earth below it fell away at 5.15am on Friday.

Owner Julian Herring said he is in talks with his own insurers and structural engineers to decide the next step.

The future of the house is yet to be decided.

He said: "That's the million dollar question. I didn't know what shock was until now, I have just been walking around staring into space.

"It is hard to believe. We had just got the house as we wanted it inside and I was only clearing in the garden the Sunday before. Now it has gone."

Leandra Palmer, her 14-year old daughter Jasmine and 19-month old Joshua, who live in Warren Road, were awoken by the thud of rocks falling near the property directly beneath the cliff.

Leandra said: "My daughter came rushing in saying it's a meteor shower, it's the end of the world."

The family are among residents who are still being told to stay away from the property until it is deemed safe to return.

Torbay Council has offered them temporary accommodation.

Neighbour Nigel Paull, 46, woke to find his newly completed garden buried under a pile of rubble.

He said: "Somewhere under there is the trellis I just put up. It's scary when you think that it could just come down like that. I am just so relieved that no-one was hurt."

Mr Paull said he called his landlady, Dee Hamilton, after the landfall.

She said she had paid £30,000 to have the cliff secured with netting about three years ago.

She said: "That hasn't budged at all and I hate to think what could have happened if that work had not been done."

She said that she is in the process of contacting the owner of the landslide property.

Properties in St Luke's Road North are built on the clifftop and some are fearing for the stability of their homes in the face of more wet weather.

Rick and Lorraine Johnston run the Mount Nessing Hotel, neighbouring the affected property.

The couple look after the damaged property when the owners work away on business.

Lorraine said: "It was our first night away in ages when this happened.

"I had a phone call early in the morning from the lady who was looking after the hotel for us to say the police are at the door, so we came right home at 9am.

Rick said: "It is a worry. We have been looking at the cliff and wondering what will happen. I would feel reassured if it was shored up."

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