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.