Knipe Point: What next?

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KNIPE Point residents remain in limbo – three years after they saw their gardens disappear over the cliff in a massive landslide.

KNIPE Point residents remain in limbo – three years after they saw their gardens disappear over the cliff in a massive landslide.

Today marks the third anniversary of the initial landslide, which led to the eventual demolition of three bungalows on the Cayton Bay complex.

Now, 36 months down the line, residents still remain none the wiser as to what caused the unexpected slide and if any work is going to be done to stabilise the area.

Following the first landslide, more cracks appeared and the cliff suffered numerous slips, the latest of which saw more than 20ft of land fall away in December. Residents fear it is only a matter of time before another landslip, and the need for more properties to be demolished.

Tony Charlesworth, 77, had to relocate further inland on the development after his original property became dangerously close to the edge.

He said: “We are still seeing cracks, and another little bit of land has fallen off over the last few weeks.

“I don’t think my old bungalow and the one next to it are going to last much longer, all we need is some wet weather and we could easily see more land go.

“I can’t believe we are three years down the line and nothing has been done to stabilise the land. We are just living in the same fear as we were then.”

Following the landslide in early April 2008, two bungalows left teetering dangerously on the cliff edge were demolished later that month, followed by a third bungalow in May.

The Cleveland Way path running along the cliff edge was also permanently closed, with walkers now being redirected along Filey Road.

In October 2008 drilling test work started to try to determine the cause of the slips, with bore hole samples sent for laboratory testing.

It was hoped stabilising work could then be done to secure the area.

However a source could not be found for the water that was saturating the land around Knipe Point, and in September 2009 Scarborough Council determined the stabilising work would cost too much.

The authority estimated it would cost between £16-20 million to protect the 56 properties at Knipe Point, which are worth just £5 million.

Further landslips continued to occur, including one slightly further along the cliff edge which led to the permanent closure of section of Filey Road over fears vehicles could plunge down the cliff.

Scarborough Council was awarded £1 million from the “Pathfinder” grant by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to help relocate affected residents.

However the money is yet to be administered, leaving residents still fearing for their future.

Mr Charlesworth said: “I can’t believe we are still in the same boat.

“When it first happened nobody took any interest until we had to start demolishing people’s homes. Now it seems to have gone quiet again.

“I would have thought over the course of three years more would have been done.”