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Homes on cliff edge after land slump

The National Trust today said it might be too late to save bungalows left teetering on the brink of a cliff following a land slump.

Residents from several properties on the Knipe Point estate, in Cayton Bay, near Scarborough, have been evacuated from their homes as gardens disappeared over the edge of the cliff.

The estate, which overlooks Cayton Bay, contains a mixture of holiday homes and privately-owned properties.

Some permanent residents have been told by their insurance companies to leave their homes as they are too close to the cliff's edge.

One property has been left with its conservatory just inches away from the precipice.

The spokeswoman said the Trust had met with concerned residents to discuss the situation and would consider the outcome of the survey to see if anything could be done. She said: “We hope it’s not too late but it may be too late for some. If there’s a problem with our land we will see what we can do.”

National Trust area manager Liz Fisher said: “It is very doubtful that a permanent solution can be found to the issue of land slumping. But we have commissioned a further report to investigate any mitigating works that can be done to ease the situation.”

A survey of the National Trust-owned land is under way to try to determine the cause of the slip - which is not thought to be due to coastal erosion - and a report will be submitted in the summer.

Recently water has appeared in the land and cracks have started to appear, causing the National Trust to cordon off a public footpath.

A previous report into the movement of the land found that natural drainage processes and the impact of water seepage and drainage from adjacent developed land were factors causing it to slump.

It is 15 years since crowds of holidaymakers watched as the 120-year-old Holbeck Hall Hotel collapsed into the sea on the South Cliff at Scarborough - just a few miles north of Knipe Point.

The whole of the north-east wing of the £1 million four-star hotel tumbled down the 150ft cliff-face in a massive landslip in June 1993.

The remaining part of the Victorian building had to be demolished.