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'Keep off' warning as sightseers spotted climbing up Babbacombe cliff fall

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 21, 2013

  • Oddicombe

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ANOTHER warning has been sent out to sightseers to stay away as a house teetering above Torquay's Oddicombe Beach has suffered further damage.

Ridgemont House, in Redcliffe Road, has collapsed further and parts of its boundary wall are now very close to the cliff edge.

Two people were spotted climbing on the loose rocks below the house on Sunday lunchtime.

Fifteen-year-old Charlotte Osborne, from the Wellswood area of the town, caught the pair on camera while she took photographs of the collapsing house from Babbacombe Downs.

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Her mother Jenny, who was with Charlotte at the time, told the Herald Express: "We couldn't believe our eyes. We went to take photos of the house and saw people climbing up the rocks.

"We couldn't believe how stupid they could be. They must have seen the warning sign. It was so dangerous."

She said the family had been monitoring the house every couple of days.

"We see the cliffs falling away gradually," she said. "It's sad it's happening but the sooner the house goes the better, because people are going to look at it.

"I guess these people — we think it was a girl and a boy and perhaps, in their late teens — were trying to see how high up the cliff face they could get. They were about three quarters of the way up from the beach."

A spokesman for Torbay Council said: "We understand the privately-owned property is in a dangerous condition and we would advise members of the public not to enter the site. The site is contained by fences and walls which can be reasonably expected to protect the public from danger.

"As further rock falls occur, we anticipate the building will suffer further collapse. The beach at Little Oddicombe has been closed to the public for several years.

"Further rock falls at Oddicombe are anticipated and we would once again repeat our advice to members of the public to heed the various warning signs on several Torbay beaches which have been put in place for public safety."

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