Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 10:05 UK

Homes teeter on seaside land slip

Knipe Point land slip. Picture courtesy Radio York
One family has been told to move out of their home by insurers

Thousands of tonnes of earth have slipped away in front of homes on the Yorkshire coast leaving properties precariously balanced on a cliff edge.

Gardens and patios at Knipe Point are now in a heap 100ft (30.4m) below the homes on National Trust land at Cayton Bay, between Scarborough and Filey.

Insurers have told one family to move out, while other locals wait for news.

A trust spokesman said the slip had been caused by water and it was impossible to predict the next one.

Michael Turner of the Residents' Association said there was growing concern in the area.

"People are very worried because at the moment they don't know what's going to happen, whether there will be any more slippage.

"One family has been told to move out by their insurance company.

"We're just waiting for the results of investigations into what caused the land slip, but at the moment we're in limbo."

'Fits and starts'

National Trust property manager Bob Dicker said: "We know that this land is slipping, we know it's very active at the present time, but to put a scale on it at this stage would be unwise. We don't have enough information.

"What we're finding out, in some respects it's very obvious, we're finding out it is a land slip and we should be very careful to remember that - it isn't coastal erosion.

"The land slip itself is caused by water for the most part, there may be other causative agents, but mainly water. "

Knipe Point land slip
Homes are now perilously close to the edge of the cliffs

Mr Dicker said engineers were trying to find the source of the water that caused the slip.

"What we don't know is where is the water coming from and what sources there are in the immediate area. "

He said the land slippage had been happening in "fits and starts" and there had been quite a bit of activity for the last two or three months.

"Prior to that it had been very stable, if I can use that word, for quite some time.

"But it would be very foolish of me or anybody else to predict at the present time just what will happen either today or in ten years time.

"We do hope to have more information fairly soon."

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