My £460,000 'forever home' is sliding off a cliff...council chiefs have ... trends now

My £460,000 'forever home' is sliding off a cliff...council chiefs have ... trends now
My £460,000 'forever home' is sliding off a cliff...council chiefs have ... trends now

My £460,000 'forever home' is sliding off a cliff...council chiefs have ... trends now

A swimming pool in the back garden of a family's 'forever home' teeters on a cliff edge after a landslip left it hanging precariously over 50ft drop.

University professor Dr Ralitsa Hiteva fears her £460,000 home is inching ever closer to the edge of a narrow steep-sided valley after days of torrential rain and strong winds.

Horrifying pictures show half of her back garden, including a vegetable patch, palm trees, a laurel hedge and boundary wall have toppled into the Old Roar Gill nature reserve in St Leonard's near Hastings, East Sussex.

A public footpath which ran behind her home and which was commonly used by school children has all but disintegrated.

Now, Dr Hiteva, 41, her husband Russell, their lodger from Ukraine and their two dogs, have had to move out for their own safety after the local council issued an evacuation order.

A swimming pool in the back garden of a family's 'forever home' teeters on a cliff edge after a landslip left it hanging precariously over 50ft drop

A swimming pool in the back garden of a family's 'forever home' teeters on a cliff edge after a landslip left it hanging precariously over 50ft drop

A picture of University professor Dr Ralitsa Hiteva's home before the landslip

A picture of University professor Dr Ralitsa Hiteva's home before the landslip

Now, Dr Hiteva, 41, (pictured) her husband Russell, their lodger from Ukraine and their two dogs, have had to move out for their own safety

Now, Dr Hiteva, 41, (pictured) her husband Russell, their lodger from Ukraine and their two dogs, have had to move out for their own safety

Speaking to MailOnline as she packed up the last of her belongings, she said: 'There was a big storm on Valentines Day evening, the wind was really strong.

'Around 9pm we heard a huge crack and when I went out to investigate what it was I could see that a big tree had come down.

'I then noticed massive cracks on the public footpath and beside the path a very big chunk of the bank on the hill was missing.

'The following morning the damage was even worse, the path by now had completely fallen away, our fence was hanging off and the trees were completely bent backwards.

'I notified East Sussex council, who maintain the path because we get a lot of children who walk down that way to get to school but fortunately when the landslide happened it was half-term.

'But gradually the situation has got worse. We've lost about 25-feet of land in two weeks and it's still active. More land goes every night.

'Between 20 and 30 trees have been lost and now the swimming pool looks like it's about to go as well.'

Hastings Borough Council issued two Emergency Prohibition Orders to Dr Hiteva and a neighbour last week which will remain in place until the housing team is satisfied it is safe to return.

The council - which owns and runs the Old Roar Gill - say that the slip seems to have started on private land above the nature reserve according to a geotechnical assessment, so residents affected will have to contact insurance companies to get help. 

The home previously featured a large and spacious green garden

The home previously featured a large and spacious green garden

Now the property looks on the edge of collapsing following the landslip

Now the property looks on the edge of collapsing following the landslip

Dr Ralitsa Hiteva Brown (right) with her neighbour Gill Clusker (left) in what remains of the garden

Dr Ralitsa Hiteva Brown (right) with her neighbour Gill Clusker (left) in what remains of the garden

The dramatic drop where the land has fallen at the back of the property

The dramatic drop where the land has fallen at the back of the property

Dr Hiteva pays £400 a year to insure her house but fears that unless her property is physically damaged the provider will not pay out (garden before the landslip)

Dr Hiteva pays £400 a year to insure her house but fears that unless her property is physically damaged the provider will not pay out (garden before the landslip)

Dr Hiteva pays £400 a year to insure her house but fears that unless her property is physically damaged the provider will not pay out.

She furiously hit out at council chiefs for their lack of care and emergency support.

She said: 'The council have insisted this landslip happened on private land so they've washed their hands with it and told us to just contact our insurance company.

'We didn't have a problem finding house insurance because the property was only built in 1975 and were no previous issues.

'But the insurance company is investigating at the moment and one possibility is that unless the house itself is damaged, they may not pay out.

'We had a survey before we bought the house in December 2020 and it showed nothing of concern

'Since this happened, we must have spent some £4000 on more surveys.

'We've had three different technical engineers out who have all told us that understanding where the movement started from will take a month or so.

'They need to take data over a period of time before they can get an informed view of what happened.

'But the council have this magical survey to hand within five days which absolves them of any blame and barring a few graphs, which were unintelligible, they've shared nothing of their findings.

'In fact they've done nothing at all to help the situation short term, they could put mesh across to stop any more debris falling into

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