Families in a cliff-top community where a house fell from the edge in a landslide have been asked to move because the local council “will do nothing” to save their homes.
Mother of five, Emma Tullett, was broken when her dream Spanish villa-style bungalow – ironically called the Cliffhanger – collapsed over four days in May and made headlines across the country.
Emma, 42, her partner and four of her children could only watch in horror as they lost the two-bedroom house – which she had bought completely in 2018 – its outbuildings, swimming pool and her car slipped away.
You and other residents of Surf Crescent, Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, were rushed to temporary shelter where Emma is staying.
Warnings have now been posted on two neighboring properties after a geology report found they could be the closest.
This means that the owners who were allowed to return home this week must warn visitors that they are in danger.
They say they feel forgotten by the Council.
In 2009, 66-year-old delivery man Ed Cane and his wife, Lynn, bought a two-bedroom bungalow for £ 80,000 that was based on Emma's outbuilding.
He spent tens of thousands renovating it, but now he has to move and rent somewhere.
An aerial view of the Eastchurch cliff showed the ground cracking before it gave way and swept away a house
Ed Cane, 67, said he was angry at Swale Borough Council and complained, "You won't even touch the cliff."
Emma's two bedroom bungalow was completely decimated by the landslide, but neighbors say the council won't help them
He said, “The council told me to move to a new place as soon as possible. But this is my home. I don't want to just get up and move.
“They said they wouldn't do anything about it, or even touch the cliff.
“We were left completely behind and forgotten. The council has done nothing and there is no help for us.
“The hole should be filled in and the road repaired to slow down erosion.
“I had to take care of it myself without help. I don't have enough money to buy another house.
Emma Tullett's home, which was purchased for £ 195,000, collapsed completely in May, leaving rubble on its Eastchurch location
“There are 50 houses on this property and everyone receives letters asking them to consider moving.
“Still, after all that has happened, we are expected to buy and sell houses. Nobody will buy mine, especially after what the council has now said.
“The next thing you can do is get a prohibition order and then an abort order, which I would likely pay for myself. I could get a grant of £ 6,000, but that won't cover all of the costs. & # 39;
Ed said he couldn't get home insurance because the property was built on clay.
Residents were allowed to return to their properties at their own risk, with some being warned that they were in danger
The 58-year-old neighbor Christine Green, who lives next to her husband Julian, has also received a hazard warning on the property they have owned for two years.
She told Kent Online, “At some point they have to send us a prohibition notice to get out.
“The caravan my son Jason lives in will go first and he has cerebral palsy. They think that will happen in a few months. Then my house will go in three to five years.
“The worrying thing is that we bought this property in 2018 and no one told us this was going to happen. We knew about the cliff erosion, but it wasn't, it must be because of a sinkhole. & # 39;
What is coastal erosion? As tides and geology mean, some areas are far more at risk of being washed away
The occurrence of coastal erosion depends on the balance between the resistance or erodibility of the coast and the strength or erosiveness of the waves and tides affecting the area.
These conditions in turn depend on a number of factors, including the topography, the composition and structure of the geological formations exposed on the coast, the state of the artificial coastal defense, the local currents and the tidal range, and the wave climate (as characterized) by wave height, period , Direction and range), groundwater, sediment supply and relative sea level.
As a result, coastal erosion and accretion rates vary widely at regional, national, and international levels.
Coastal erosion typically results in coastal land retreat. This can increase the risk of coastal flooding and lead to land loss and damage to buildings, infrastructure and agricultural land.
Sudden erosion events on the coast, especially near coastal cliffs, can put people's lives at direct risk. The movement of saltwater into freshwater areas (saline solution infiltration) can occur during coastal flooding and can affect the biodiversity of previous freshwater or terrestrial ecosystems.
It has been estimated that 113,000 residential properties, 9,000 commercial properties and 5,000 acres of agricultural land in England and Wales have been estimated to be in areas potentially at risk from coastal erosion, giving England and England a net present value of assets at risk of around £ 7.7 billion in Wales (DEFRA, 2001).
In 2014 activists set up an action group to put pressure on the Environment Agency and Natural England to install nets on the cliffs for plants and trees to be laid to encourage growth in the area and thus strengthen the Country to contribute.
It was hoped that the program would make the area liveable for another 40 years.
However, the £ 30,000 program funded by the local council did not begin until April 2016. Locals said there was red tape that led to delays.
The Swale Borough Council carried out surveys and subsequently sought expert advice – before telling three households that they could return.
The Council says "erosion is not new in this area" and a formal policy with no active intervention has existed since at least 1996 as this is a place of particular scientific interest and "there is no economic justification for protecting against coastal erosion" & # 39 ;.
The technical report noted that "a number of factors are contributing to the cliff falls" and expects more to crumble in the years to come.
Council Environment Cabinet Member Councilor Tim Valentine said: “Since the collapse we have been working to provide support to the affected households and to gather the best possible information and advice so that we can help them make decisions about what to do next.
“We spoke to the families to keep them informed of developments and we have now alerted two properties to hazards that set out our recommendations.
“We will continue to work closely with families to help them consider their next steps and work with the wider community to help manage the longer term effects on their homes.
“The nature of the land here means that erosion will continue and we expect more to fall off the cliff in the next few years, but we cannot predict with certainty when this will be.
“So we have given them advice on actions to take and we will help them make the tough decisions they face.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped support the families affected.
"There are too many to mention here, but the professionalism, generosity and care since that night in May has been wonderful to see."
. (tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) messages