Sidmouth man left in shock after his shed falls off a cliff

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A man could only look on in horror as he came home to find that his garden shed had fallen off a seaside cliff.

Houses on Cliff Road in Sidmouth face the constant threat of the crumbling rocks that have slowly been collapsing for the last 20 years.

And in the latest incident to hit residents, Paul Griew lost his shed and a section of his garden that collapsed onto east beach below with a huge cloud of red smoke.

Mr Griew told the Mail Online: “My gardener was standing at the end of the garden at 11.30am and I told him not to. Thank God that he left.

“My neighbour called as she was watching it at the time. It has taken years but it seems the heavy rain hasn’t been helpful.”

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Mr Griew sits on the steering group for the beach management plan and called for safety plans to be moved forward.

“It’s just got to happen. We are talking about 2020, which is at least three to four years away now but people are going to lose more over the next four years,” he added.

He said that other residents in the street are expected to lose their properties within 20 years.

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The fall today is linked to the recent heavy rain fall associated with Storm Doris that swept across the south west last week.

Cliff Road is in danger of becoming Britain’s most expensive property collapse with over £6million worth of clifftop houses creeping towards destruction.

Residents who thought they had decades left in the 12 properties affected fear the crumbling coastline could give way imminently.

Four years ago John Radford watched as 15ft of land crumbled away in a matter of weeks.

He said that a pair of massive landslips in the space of a few weeks decimated his garden and that more major falls were inevitable.

Sidmouth is part of the UNESCO Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, which is important for its sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks.

But the landslides which have hit the cliffs there look set to take an expensive toll.

At the time Mr Radford said: ‘The houses here are unsellable and unmortgageable.

“The people living in them are trapped. Insurance doesn’t cover erosion.”

Eyewitness David Maltby saw the latest cliff fall on Tuesday.

He said: “There were several of them – it was horrendous. Chunks of the cliff came plunging down.

“A lot of it was soil from the gardens of the houses above. It keeps on happening especially when it rains heavily.

“I’m not sure what can be done about it – it’s just the forces of nature.”

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