A COUPLE who were forced to leave their luxury mobile home when it was in danger of falling over a cliff edge at an exclusive park homes development in Watchet, were this week told that they can return while its future is decided – even though their garden has fallen on to the beach.

Tom and Jackie Dickenson have been allowed back by Somerset West and Taunton Council for talks with the site owners, R S Hill and Sons Ltd, of Fareham, Hampshire.

““I am happy we can come back to our home but obviously there is a degree of concern,” said Jackie.

The exclusive West Bay Residential Park Homes development in West Street has 16 luxury two-bedroom moveable gabled ’lodges’ on the cliff-top site, selling at around £150,000 and designed for the over-45s.

High tides and gales in March caused massive erosion in front of the properties, destroying fencing and gardens and bringing the homes perilously near the cliff edge.

Two families were evacuated and found temporary accommodation by the district council when their properties were condemned as unsafe, and several other residents were told to arrange for their homes to be moved.

At the time of the landslip,Jackie said: “This was our absolute dream home and now it’s gone and so have all our savings.”

District council deputy leader Benet Allen told the BBC: “We’ve granted them an extension so they can go back in while they’re negotiating what’s going to happen next.

“But looking at the picture you can see that the sea is rapidly eating away at that cliff and that anyone who lives in a caravan right on a cliff edge is not in the world’s safest place.”

Under the terms of the park’s licence, its boundary had to be at least three metres from the cliff edge to avoid putting residents and their property in peril, and the council maintained that the landslides meant that the licence had been breached.

A council report after the last major landslip said that concrete foundations had been exposed and posts supporting decking were hovering over the drop.

It added: “It was clear that stabilisation works would only act as a temporary solution and it was decided that to properly safeguard residents a compliance notice would be issued requiring that the homes be moved.”

“Any stabilisation work would only be temporary and the homes would need to be moved but there was no space left on the site.”

A spokesman for the owners said enforcement action had been suspended after further discussion with residents and tests would be carried out on the soil structure of the site.

A district council spokesman told the Free Press: “The council formally stepped in to make sure all parties were fully engaged in finding a suitable and safe solution following the landslip.

“Our primary responsibility as the licensing authority is to satisfy ourselves that licence conditions are being complied with. The stability and safety of the site will always be the landowner’s responsibility.

“However, we will continue to work with all parties to keep the situation under review and ensure we actively protect public safety.”