Man’s dispute with council over cliff fall

AN ANTIQUE dealer who had to abandon his home after part of a cliff crashed into his home is now locked in dispute with the council.

Chris Paraskeva’s home in White Rock was damaged when the section of cliff collapsed at the start of this month.

Chris Paraskeva with the damage to his home caused by a rock fall

Chris Paraskeva with the damage to his home caused by a rock fall

But now Hastings Borough Council has told him he must commission remedial works if necessary.

Mr Paraskeva, 61, who is recovering after suffering from throat cancer, received a letter from the authority expressing concern about the potential of more rock falls at the back of his house and asked him to urgently instruct engineers to assess the cliff’s stability.

The letter from Mike Hepworth, the council’s head of environmental services, said the authority was not responsible for the cliff but Mr Paraskeva disputes this.

He also disputed the council’s claims that he has some responsibility for the cliff, insisting that Land Registry records show the rear boundary of his home ends at the cliff’s base.

Mr Paraskeva, who has lived in his property for 10 years since his father died, said: “The council is trying to wash its hands of this and is not being sympathetic at all. I’m at a loss of what to do now.”

His loss adjuster visited on Wednesday (February 19) to assess the damage but Mr Paraskeva fears he will not be covered for the rock fall.

Kevin Boorman, council spokesman said: “We have taken legal advice on this and have been advised that the cliffs are not Hastings Borough Council’s responsibility, but are the responsibility of the property owner in front of the cliffs. This is not uncommon, and there are other examples where I know this is the case in Hastings.

“We acted immediately to provide those directly affected by the cliff fall (both property owners and tenants) with temporary accommodation until they could safely re-occupy them, and met with many of them soon after the cliff fall to explain the position (indeed I was at that meeting myself).”