Going, going, almost gone – 'bargain' house at Babbacombe falling into the sea
A cliff-top country pile is fast becoming a costly pile of rubble as landslides send it crashing towards the beach below.
The controversial property, which was bought unseen for nearly £155,000, appears to have been sliced in two by the latest in a series of devastating seismic shifts.
Ridgemont House, at the top of Oddicombe Cliffs in Torquay, is now very close to the cliff edge and is expected to collapse at any moment.
Council officials have warned the public to steer clear of the dangerous site and beach at Little Oddicombe, which has been closed for years.
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A spokesman for Torbay council said the house was "in a dangerous condition".
"Parts of the boundary wall are now very close to the cliff edge at Little Oddicombe," the spokesman said.
"As further rock falls occur, we anticipate that the building will suffer further collapse."
The now practically worthless property hit headlines in 2010 when a landslide hit it just a week after it was sold at auction to retired police officer Sue Diamond for £155,000.
Legal disputes are still thought to be ongoing and the house is fenced off.
Miss Diamond who is disabled, made a telephone bid of £154,500 for the house in February 2010, without viewing it or having a survey done.
But just eight days after the auction, a landslide left the 1930s house just 50 yards from a drop into the sea, and signalled the started of a lengthy legal battle.
At the time Miss Diamond said the house was uninhabitable and worth only £3,500. Now it is on the verge of total obliteration after the most recent landslide caused a large portion of it to collapse.
Since the sale Miss Diamond has been engaged in a legal war.
Explaining her decision to buy the house in Torquay at the time, she said her Chiswick home in London had been flooded by burst pipes and she thought the ground floor of the seaside property would be ideal for a disabled person. The large six-bedroom property was sold for the bargain price because of its precarious position.
But just days later neighbours heard a "rumbling" noise before the unstable sandstone cliffs crumbled, sending more than 5,000 tonnes of rock at the bottom of the garden down to the beach below.
Minor landslips over the Christmas period weakened the structure further but a bigger slide on Sunday left it in a precarious position.
A geological survey has been undertaken, indicating that fresh landslides were imminent.
The council said the threat of further landslides remains high.
"We once again reiterate for members of the public to heed the various warning signs for their own safety," the spokesman added.