‘It’s eating away at my garden’ – drone images show homes at risk on cliff edge

Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent
·2-min read

Devastating cliff collapses that sent a family home tumbling over the edge are threatening more houses in a seaside community.

A month of rain has seen more and more land collapse into the sea at Eastchurch in Kent, with residents having to watch as their homes get closer and closer to the precipice.

Dramatic new pictures show the sheer scale of the issue facing the coastal village on the picturesque Isle of Sheppey.

The drone images show just how few feet of land remains between some houses and the brink, and the huge hole where a house once stood before it fell in June last year.

Edd Cane, who has lived in his Eastchurch home for 15 years, says residents feel abandoned.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s eating away at my garden.

“The last council bloke who came down asked: ‘Do you feel safe in your house?’ and I said: ‘What do you think? I don’t think so, do you?'”

Ed Cane
Ed Cane in his garden in Eastchurch, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Mr Cane’s house once sat 25 metres (82ft) back from the cliff edge, behind another house and further land.

But cliff falls last year saw a family home left partially suspended over a sheer drop and eventually falling, along with a car.

The collapse was attributed to the “devastating impacts of coastal erosion” by the fire service at the time.

Now Mr Cane, 66, says as little as 15ft separates his home from the edge, and other houses may be closer.

The drone pictures show the scale of the devastation to the island community and the continued risk posed to residents.

Eastchurch cliff erosion
A landslip caused a bungalow to collapse towards the sea in an incident last year (Gareth Fuller/PA)

He added: “I have already been told by the council representative that if it gets much closer to my house they will but a demolition order on it and I will be expected to pay to have my house demolished.

“If that’s not rubbing salt in the wound, I don’t know what is.”

A spokesperson for Swale Borough Council said: “We are in contact with the residents at Eastchurch cliff and have offered the affected properties housing advice.

“We will continue to work with them as the cliffs change and urge them to continue to engage with us.”