Whitby cottages facing demolition after landslide

3:08pm Wednesday 28th November 2012

PREPARATIONS are being made to demolish a row of cottages overlooking an historic harbour after a landslide left them in danger of collapse.

Torrential rain has led to the gardens and patios behind Aelfleda Terrace, in Whitby, North Yorkshire, sliding down the steep slope below them and they are now 30ft lower than the 150-year-old terrace.

The landslip also saw a huge slab of rock and earth, about the size of a minibus, crash into another terrace of homes below.

Engineers are worried five homes on Aelfleda Terrace will collapse and plans are being drawn up to demolish the houses.

Work is expected to begin tomorrow although it is understood the steep, tight location will present demolition experts with a number of problems.

The terrace of fisherman's cottages overlook the seaside town from the east side of the River Esk and are just a few hundred metres from the historic Whitby Abbey.

One resident, Jude Knight, said: "I'm just devastated, I've lost everything, I've lost 26 years of my life, that's how long I've had this property.

"I feel very sad and I feel very angry."

Ms Knight said: "The houses have been here for 150 years now - it's part of Whitby's history and landscape that's also going."

The other threatened homes are thought to be holiday cottages.

A Scarborough Borough Council spokesman said: "Owners have been allowed back into their properties briefly to retrieve their personal belongings but the whole area has now been cordoned off.

"Demolition is currently scheduled to take place within the next 24 to 48 hours.

"Security personnel and council officers will be monitoring the site closely in the meantime."

The area has experienced huge amounts of rainfall in the last 48 hours with the nearby RAF station at Fylingdales named as one of the wettest in the UK yesterday.

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