RESIDENTS on the knife-edge at Scarborough’s Knipe Point could have been handed a vital lifeline.
Homeowners living just feet from disaster have claimed extensive pipe work improvements have stopped a major water leak they believe accelerated the landslip.
However, bosses from Yorkshire Water have denied the work has had any direct impact on the site, adding the changes to the pipe structure are instead intrinsic to sea outfall works.
Malcolm Pirks, chairman of the Knipe Point Residents’ Association, said there had been a sizeable difference in the amount of water running down the slopes since the work started.
He said the group had inserted monitors to gauge the level of water running down the affected area, which was markedly lower and brought into question previous expert assessments that the water flow came from glacial sources.
He said: “We questioned it at the time because we couldn’t understand how it was starting and stopping.
“They have always said the problems of the water stemmed from the Ice Age but it is definitely man-made.
“It is not erosion because we are too far from the sea, it is a man-made landslip. Ever since they started the work, the water has stopped and it is now just a trickle.
“It has not even registered on the monitor that has been set up.
“It is too much of a coincidence that all of this has happened after this work has started.
“The ground used to be sodden and water would gush down where the land has slipped, there were just pools of water.
“But now it is nothing to what it was.
“It always used to appear at the same time and that is made us think it was water being pumped.
“We just feel like we are left in limbo.”
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “We are working on a scheme in the field to the left-hand side of Knipe Point Drive which is unrelated to the coastal erosion experienced in the area.
“The scheme is being undertaken to replace aging manholes that provide us with access to a section of pipe that takes treated water from business customers in the area far out to sea.
“Although the pipe is in adequate condition with no leaks present, while we are replacing all the manholes we are also taking the opportunity to replace the old clay pipe with a new plastic one allowing us to abandon the old pipework.”
The scene at the beauty spot has remained mainly unchanged since December last year when 20ft of land fell away during the inclement weather.
Three bungalows have already been demolished on the site, and a section of Filey Road was closed over fears vehicles could fall down the cliff.