/Mothers £195,000 dream cliff edge home falls 70ft to the beach below after huge landslide in Kent

Mothers £195,000 dream cliff edge home falls 70ft to the beach below after huge landslide in Kent

A mother-of-five’s dream house, left hanging on the edge of a cliff after a huge landslide, collapsed into the void in the early hours of this morning. 

Dramatic images show how the bungalow in Eastchurch, Kent, has been shattered overnight after the ground underneath it continued to give way.

Emma Tullett, who was not insured because the home was deemed too close to the cliff face, today held her head in her hands as she went to see the devastation.

The 42-year-old only bought the timber-framed two-bedroom property, complete with swimming pool, in August 2018, with the dream of raising her young family in a luxurious home overlooking the sea but says she’s now ‘lost everything’.

In a statement today, she thanked the community who have rallied to help, after their lives were ‘turned upside down’.

She added: ‘We are just grateful that we all escaped without harm.’

An aerial shot today shows how the property in Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, completely collapsed off the edge of a cliff

An aerial shot today shows how the property in Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, completely collapsed off the edge of a cliff

An aerial shot today shows how the property in Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, completely collapsed off the edge of a cliff

The majority of the property was still intact yesterday, even though some debris, including Emma Tullett's orange Seat Ibiza, had fallen below on Sunday

The majority of the property was still intact yesterday, even though some debris, including Emma Tullett's orange Seat Ibiza, had fallen below on Sunday

The majority of the property was still intact yesterday, even though some debris, including Emma Tullett’s orange Seat Ibiza, had fallen below on Sunday

The £195,000 home – which also had an annex housing two of her teenage children – started to collapse during the cliff fall on Sunday.

Half the property fell to the sea below along with her orange Seat Ibiza.

On Monday, video footage showed the gap underneath her home where soil had fallen away.

At around 4am today, the rest of the house had also collapsed, with an annex building and pool all that appeared to be left.   

She shared her home, ironically named Cliffhanger on the Isle of Sheppey, with her partner and four of her children aged six, seven, 15 and 17.

The family were evacuated on Sunday and have been put up in a house in Sittingbourne on the mainland. 

This morning, Emma drove down the road which once led to her now non-existent driveway in a silver Ford Focus, donated by a local garage to help her and her family get around, and went into her neighbour’s garden for a cup of tea. 

Engineers were trawling the scene earlier to ensure the power supply was safe, with one worker seen up on a cherry picker, assessing the damage from above. 

In a statement read out by neighbour, Gemma Stanley, Emma said: ‘We are all obviously devastated by the loss of our home.

‘As you are aware we left the premises with just the clothes on our backs. My children didn’t even have shoes on.

‘Our lives have been turned upside down by the events of the weekend, events that no one could have foreseen happening so quickly and on such a large scale. We are just grateful that we all escaped without harm.

‘I would like to thank the entire community of Sheppey who have been so unbelievably supportive and have rallied round for us with offers of help.

‘Pat and Paul of PGK Motors for their amazingly generous donation of a car, the emergency services including Sheppey coastguard for their help in getting us all to safety and our little community on the Eastchurch gap who have been amazing in our time of need.

‘I would now like to ask for privacy and time to spend with my family and try to rebuild our lives.’  

Aerial pictures from today show the extent of the damage after what remained of the property crumbled over the cliff this morning

Aerial pictures from today show the extent of the damage after what remained of the property crumbled over the cliff this morning

Aerial pictures from today show the extent of the damage after what remained of the property crumbled over the cliff this morning

The huge amount of debris from the collapsed house, pictured today, can be seen from a great distance and height on the Isle of Sheppey

The huge amount of debris from the collapsed house, pictured today, can be seen from a great distance and height on the Isle of Sheppey

The huge amount of debris from the collapsed house, pictured today, can be seen from a great distance and height on the Isle of Sheppey

Homeowner Emma Tullett said earlier this week, before the property, pictured today, completely gave way, that she'd 'lost everything'

Homeowner Emma Tullett said earlier this week, before the property, pictured today, completely gave way, that she'd 'lost everything'

Homeowner Emma Tullett said earlier this week, before the property, pictured today, completely gave way, that she’d ‘lost everything’

The house, pictured today, was left dramatically hanging on the edge of a cliff after a huge landslide and collapsed into the void in the early hours of this morning

The house, pictured today, was left dramatically hanging on the edge of a cliff after a huge landslide and collapsed into the void in the early hours of this morning

The house, pictured today, was left dramatically hanging on the edge of a cliff after a huge landslide and collapsed into the void in the early hours of this morning

Dramatic images from today show how the bungalow in Eastchurch, Kent, has been shattered overnight after the ground underneath it continued to give way

Dramatic images from today show how the bungalow in Eastchurch, Kent, has been shattered overnight after the ground underneath it continued to give way

Dramatic images from today show how the bungalow in Eastchurch, Kent, has been shattered overnight after the ground underneath it continued to give way

After teetering on the brink over the weekend, Emma Tullett's beloved property finally collapsed into the void this morning

After teetering on the brink over the weekend, Emma Tullett's beloved property finally collapsed into the void this morning

After teetering on the brink over the weekend, Emma Tullett’s beloved property finally collapsed into the void this morning

Coastguard officers and council engineers are expected to arrive at the scene today to assess the latest collapse, pictured this morning, to see if other homes are now at risk

Coastguard officers and council engineers are expected to arrive at the scene today to assess the latest collapse, pictured this morning, to see if other homes are now at risk

Coastguard officers and council engineers are expected to arrive at the scene today to assess the latest collapse, pictured this morning, to see if other homes are now at risk

Most of the house, pictured today, has now completely collapsed, with an annex building and swimming pool all that appeared to be left

Most of the house, pictured today, has now completely collapsed, with an annex building and swimming pool all that appeared to be left

Most of the house, pictured today, has now completely collapsed, with an annex building and swimming pool all that appeared to be left

Emma shared her home, ironically named Cliffhanger on the Isle of Sheppey, with her partner and four of her children aged six, seven, 15 and 17. Pictured: The remains this morning

Emma shared her home, ironically named Cliffhanger on the Isle of Sheppey, with her partner and four of her children aged six, seven, 15 and 17. Pictured: The remains this morning

Emma shared her home, ironically named Cliffhanger on the Isle of Sheppey, with her partner and four of her children aged six, seven, 15 and 17. Pictured: The remains this morning

Mother-of-five Emma Tullett, 42, pictured, told how she 'lost everything' after a cliff collapsed sending her dream home plunging over the edge

Mother-of-five Emma Tullett, 42, pictured, told how she 'lost everything' after a cliff collapsed sending her dream home plunging over the edge

Mother-of-five Emma Tullett, 42, pictured, told how she ‘lost everything’ after a cliff collapsed sending her dream home plunging over the edge

Emma first noticed bricks in her front garden separating after arriving home from work on Friday afternoon.

Within hours, she heard ‘crunching’ and blinds in her living room fell off the wall shortly after 9pm.

Emma grabbed her children and the family left the house with just their phones, chargers and the clothes on their backs. 

Speaking on Sunday, the Co-op assistant manager said: ‘I was sitting there watching TV with a glass of wine and then the blinds fell off the wall. Everything happened really quickly.

‘I heard this crackling and crunching and then you could tell the cliffs were gone. I think the cracks must’ve been getting bigger over a few days.

‘We grabbed the kids and the teenagers from the annex and just said get whatever you can.

‘Today, half of our house fell off the cliff. All that’s left is the living room, a bedroom, kitchen and the hallway.

‘It’s absolutely heartbreaking – we’ve lost everything. This was my dream home which I paid for in cash.

‘We were told we’d have about 40 years living here, but we’ve not even had two.

‘We can get a new house, a new car – but it’s things like baby photos of my children that will all be at the bottom of the cliff now.

‘It’s the sentimental things that I can’t get back that make this even worse.’ 

A video yesterday captured the remaining parts of the home dangling precariously over the clifftop, with a door seen elevated in mid-air above the foundation.

On the ground below, gates, fences and furniture were strewn beneath the cliff, with Ms Tullett’s car covered in dust and murky water which has gathered in the wreckage.

In one moment, more household objects tumbled from the bottom of the home, before crashing into the water and rolling to a stop in the waterlogged rubble below.

The home, pictured yesterday, was teetering on the brink before completely collapsing into the void below overnight

The home, pictured yesterday, was teetering on the brink before completely collapsing into the void below overnight

The home, pictured yesterday, was teetering on the brink before completely collapsing into the void below overnight 

Photographs from yesterday show debris from the houses collapsed to the ground after a landslide this weekend devastated the street

Photographs from yesterday show debris from the houses collapsed to the ground after a landslide this weekend devastated the street

Photographs from yesterday show debris from the houses collapsed to the ground after a landslide this weekend devastated the street

Co-op assistant manager Ms Tullett told MailOnline on Sunday: 'I was sitting there watching TV with a glass of wine and then the blinds fell off the wall. Everything happened really quickly'. Pictured: The extent of the damage yesterday before the house completely collapsed

Co-op assistant manager Ms Tullett told MailOnline on Sunday: 'I was sitting there watching TV with a glass of wine and then the blinds fell off the wall. Everything happened really quickly'. Pictured: The extent of the damage yesterday before the house completely collapsed

Co-op assistant manager Ms Tullett told MailOnline on Sunday: ‘I was sitting there watching TV with a glass of wine and then the blinds fell off the wall. Everything happened really quickly’. Pictured: The extent of the damage yesterday before the house completely collapsed

'I heard this crackling and crunching and then you could tell the cliffs were gone. I think the cracks must've been getting bigger over a few days,' she said. Pictured: The property was teetering over the edge of the cliff yesterday

'I heard this crackling and crunching and then you could tell the cliffs were gone. I think the cracks must've been getting bigger over a few days,' she said. Pictured: The property was teetering over the edge of the cliff yesterday

‘I heard this crackling and crunching and then you could tell the cliffs were gone. I think the cracks must’ve been getting bigger over a few days,’ she said. Pictured: The property was teetering over the edge of the cliff yesterday

Locals say the collapse, pictured above yesterday, is due to the dry weather. Ms Tullett's teenage children lived in an annex off the main property, which was the first of the at-risk houses to fall

Locals say the collapse, pictured above yesterday, is due to the dry weather. Ms Tullett's teenage children lived in an annex off the main property, which was the first of the at-risk houses to fall

Locals say the collapse, pictured above yesterday, is due to the dry weather. Ms Tullett’s teenage children lived in an annex off the main property, which was the first of the at-risk houses to fall

Shocking pictures show the family's car sunk in a pool of water

Shocking pictures show the family's car sunk in a pool of water

Cliff erosion caused the house to fall almost-entirely off the edge

Cliff erosion caused the house to fall almost-entirely off the edge

Shocking pictures taken yesterday show the family’s car sunk in a pool of water (left) after cliff erosion caused the house to fall almost-entirely off the edge, before it did collapse completely this morning

Ms Tullett's neighbour, Ed Cane (pictured), yesterday described how he fears his property could be next - as it sits just yards from the perilous drop

Ms Tullett's neighbour, Ed Cane (pictured), yesterday described how he fears his property could be next - as it sits just yards from the perilous drop

Ms Tullett’s neighbour, Ed Cane (pictured), yesterday described how he fears his property could be next – as it sits just yards from the perilous drop

Ms Tullett’s neighbour, Ed Cane, 67, was also told to evacuate as his home was directly in the firing line of the impending crack.   

His home backs on to the house which collapsed over the end of the cliff and today, two Coastguard workers were seen assessing the landslide from his garden.

He spent the night in his white Jeep after police were called over reports of two men acting suspiciously near the scene of the disaster.

A van was spotted around 5pm on Monday and is believed to have been in the area earlier that morning.   

Mr Cane said today: ‘I’ve spent the night here on the driveway and the house went so quietly I didn’t even hear it. I didn’t sleep. I was awake and went to have a look to check it and it wasn’t there so I called the police at about 4am.

‘Not one person from the council or coastguard has been down to check it. Where’s all that soil gone? It’s just disappeared.

‘Millions of pounds was spent putting concrete blocks in at Leysdown and Sheerness to stop erosion there.

‘The water never came up to the cliffs here but since they’ve done that, we get high tides at our little bay in the middle.’

He added: ‘I was told I should be shielding from coronavirus as I’m recovering from lung cancer but I’m going to protect my house.

‘I had to come back to save my possessions.

‘The people who left didn’t even have a chance to get their things. They don’t even have shoes on their feet.

‘I phoned the police yesterday and they came out at midnight and 12.30am to check it. That was it.

‘The first officer asked me what I was doing here and I replied ‘I’m doing your job’.

‘I told him we had people coming around looking at all the empty houses and said I’ve still got valuables in here.

‘I asked them to do it but they said it’s too much expense.

‘Then four officers came out once I called in the collapse

‘There should be a policeman here or somebody for security.’

A Kent Police spokesman said: ‘Kent Police was called at 4.45pm on Monday 1 June 2020 to a report of two men acting suspiciously near Surf Crescent, Eastchurch.

‘Officers in the area have been made aware and enquiries are ongoing.’

Pictures from Sunday show just how rapidly the cliff crumbled into the sea below. The house had to be evacuated along with four of her five children

Pictures from Sunday show just how rapidly the cliff crumbled into the sea below. The house had to be evacuated along with four of her five children

Pictures from Sunday show just how rapidly the cliff crumbled into the sea below. The house had to be evacuated along with four of her five children

Firefighters were called in to evacuate 20 homes overnight after a 'significant collapse' of the cliffs by the houses, pictured on Sunday

Firefighters were called in to evacuate 20 homes overnight after a 'significant collapse' of the cliffs by the houses, pictured on Sunday

Firefighters were called in to evacuate 20 homes overnight after a ‘significant collapse’ of the cliffs by the houses, pictured on Sunday

The timber-framed two-bedroom property, complete with swimming pool, pictured last Thursday, was bought in August 2018 and appeared stable just days before the collapse

The timber-framed two-bedroom property, complete with swimming pool, pictured last Thursday, was bought in August 2018 and appeared stable just days before the collapse

The timber-framed two-bedroom property, complete with swimming pool, pictured last Thursday, was bought in August 2018 and appeared stable just days before the collapse

More people were evacuated on Sunday as fire crews used a drone while specialist Coastguard cliff rescue teams scoured the collapsed rubble and soil in case people were underneath.

There are not believed to be any casualties, but it is not known at this stage if there could be any further collapse although police chiefs say there is a ‘significant risk’.

Teams from Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, coastguard, Swale Borough Council, Southern Water, UK Power and the Environment Agency as well as Eastchurch Parish Council have been at the scene in the idyllic community of Eastchurch Gap.

Malcolm Newell, 70, a local parish councillor, owns two houses that were evacuated – including his own where he has lived since retiring as a wood turner in 2001.

He said that the parish council has been battling to get the cliffs secured for years.

The coastline is a designated as a Site of Scientific Interest (SSI).  

Mr Newell and others set up the Eastchurch Gap Cliff Erosion Community Group to try and get action done.

Original Source