A row of cottages overlooking the historic harbour in Whitby, North Yorkshire, is to be demolished after a dramatic landslide left them in danger of collapse.

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Scarborough council told Channel 4 News it expects careful dismantling of the cottages to start on Friday afternoon.

Torrential rain has led to the gardens and patios behind Victorian Aelfleda Terrace, in Whitby, North Yorkshire, sliding down the steep slope below them and they are now 30ft lower than the 150-year-old terrace which was once home to the town's jet-stone workers.

The landslip also saw a huge slab of rock and earth, about the size of a minibus, crash into another terrace of homes below.

Resident Judie Knight told the Whitby Gazette: "About four o'clock in the afternoon it was starting to cave in where the drain runs. Then I looked again at half past eight and it had dropped about four feet. I rang Yorkshire Water but they were inundated with people who had sewage in their house so they couldn't help.

"I woke at one the next morning and had the shock of my life."

Distressing time

Ms Knight is having to be rehoused following the landslip. Residents said they have been in dispute with Yorkshire Water about drainage issues in the area.

In a statement, the water firm said: "This is clearly a very distressing time for the owners of these properties and our thoughts are with them.

"Our priority at the moment is to ensure that all those affected by the collapse are being well looked after and we are liaising closely with the council to assist in whatever way we can.

"We have been in ongoing dialogue with the owners with regards to the sewer that serves these properties.

"We are not going to jump to any conclusions today but rest assured we remain committed to continue working with the property-owners and the council to understand what's happened."

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