Homeowner's landslip fears

By Martin Neville

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

 

Homeowner's landslip fears

Dick Downes standing near the crack, which he fears could lead to a landslip that will affect cottages in Atherfield. Picture by Martin Neville.

FEARS a landslip could soon see acres of land lost along the south of the Isle of Wight have been raised by residents of cliff side cottages.

Dick Downes, whose home is about 100m from the cliff edge, believes a large landslip is imminent which could put the row of seven cottages at Atherfield under threat.

He fears up to four acres of land could slide into the sea after a crack developed about 150 yards west of the cottages. Although the crack appears to be less than 10cms long, Mr Downes believes its appearance, along with water pooling nearby, is a sign a landslip could occur soon.

Mr Downes said: "We were hoping our homes would be fine for another 30 or 40 years, but the indications are they will go much sooner.

"Quite a big chunk of cliff is going to go — we won’t know how much for a few days. The cliff has started to move and large cracks have appeared."

There were large cliff collapses at Atherfield in 1955, 1967 and 1977 and smaller ones in the last 20 years.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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Displaying the last 10 of 12 comments - Show All Comments

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by Martin Heath

7th December 2012, at 14:03:33

Well, I'm sorry. But, as Mike points out, the back of the wight has been dissapearing for years, Why buy a property that close to a known fault? It's like buying a house in the Sahara and complaining about the lack of water. Apologies for seeming unsympathetic and as Peter says. Good luck,

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by Peter Lewis

7th December 2012, at 09:37:42

Unfortunately this is the problem with living on this kind of land. Don't know what the residents want doing about it really. I guess it's the price you pay for living in such a beautiful spot. Can't be easy thinking the home you love could be about to end up in the sea though. Good luck!

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by Peter Lewis

7th December 2012, at 09:37:41

Unfortunately this is the problem with living on this kind of land. Don't know what the residents want doing about it really. I guess it's the price you pay for living in such a beautiful spot. Can't be easy thinking the home you love could be about to end up in the sea though. Good luck!

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by Mike Crowe

6th December 2012, at 17:45:26

Russell, that part of the 'Back of the Wight' has been slipping away for years, certainly for longer than I can remeber from first had exerience of nearly 70 years.

40 years ago I used to walk along the beach there at lunch times watching it fall away.

I really did set the speakers too high didn't I ?

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by Russell Palin

6th December 2012, at 17:20:05

Mike Crow:-
Lol! my spell check is acting up.
The quote was for your benifit as an answer to your question "So what has 'suddenly' happened to cause the land to, 'all of a sudden', slip into the sea along this coastline? ;-)"

The subject has interested me since I first moved here 23 years ago. This " land slipping into the sea because of soft clay under harder rocks thing" I find captivating, especially so with the big slips. I have seen some quite large ones happening over the years, quite dramatic IMO.

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by Mike Crowe

6th December 2012, at 14:15:44

"on th end of my name"

'e's' seem to be in short supply ;-(

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by Mike Crowe

6th December 2012, at 14:14:30

Russell did I set the speakers too high for you ...? ;-)

or were you giving that excellent explanation for David's benefit?

By the way, not that it's toooooooooooo important, but there is an 'e' on th end of my name ;-))

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by Russell Palin

6th December 2012, at 11:11:41

Mike Crow:- Here is a quote from Professor David Petley of Durham University.
” …deep groundwater levels will now be rising, so don’t be at all surprised if there are reports of larger landslide movements over the next few months. Places such as Dorset and the Isle of Wight, where there are large coastal landslide systems, will be particularly vulnerable.” End of quote.

Its all this long term rainfall we have had, it has pressurized our lower aquifers, which are now issuing water against the lower clays. As the clay does not let the water past because it is water proof, the water runs allong the top of these clay bands and there you have it.
As we have broke records in rainfall this year expect big slips.

Compton and Brook are the same, this deep water has now started flowing. I have noticed it coming out of the cliffs and slips in places it was not even in the heavy rain weeks ago.

The landslide blog on the "AGU blogs" is where I got the above quote from.

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by David Blackford

6th December 2012, at 08:11:56

I'm sure a geologist can explain this better than me, but from my understanding of land slippage on the Island, it is mostly caused not by the sea washing away the shoreline, but by rainfall soaking down through the land surface and lubricating the underlying clay - then away it goes!

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by LJ Parker

5th December 2012, at 22:46:32

Kev & Annie ... If you're reading this , I bet you're glad you moved when you did ! ... Len.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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