Seaside resort turned rat-infested ‘ghost town’ with homes falling off cliffs

A former seaside tourist hotspot has become a ghost town run by rats, with many abandoned homes being left to fall into the sea.

Residents of Skipsea, east Yorkshire, have lamented the slow death of their once bustling town that holiday-makers would flock to every summer.

These days, however, income from tourism has almost completely gone away, as buildings and shacks across the town fall off cliffs thanks to the sky-high rate of erosion in the area.

The coastline along Skipsea is infamous for being the fastest eroding coastline in northern Europe.

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As a result, not only have tourists fled, but locals have too.

According to 2021 data, just 678 people, the majority of whom are over 60, live in the seaside town.

Jimmy Mac, who lived there with his partner Megan Shaw,told the Mirror: "Look what we're losing. It's beautiful, isn't it?

"It's a dream home. It's just a shame. I don't want to move from this house.

"But I don’t know if I’m going to wake up with the sea in my bed."

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Town leaders have been forced to put up signs warning visitors and locals alike of the risk of erosion.

Along the seaside front lies a battered arcade which has smashed-in windows and graffiti-covered walls, just a couple feet from the drop into the water.

Opposite is a derelict and abandoned fish and chip shop, which acts as one of the town's only signs of life.

While millions of pounds is being pumped into saving the small coastal community, it may not be enough.

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The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the £36 million, split between East Riding of Yorkshire Council and North Norfolk District Council, would help locals to "prepare and plan" for the worst.

A spokesperson said: "These two locations are already living with the challenges of coastal erosion and between them include 84 per cent of the properties at risk of coastal erosion in England over the next 20 years."

Last June, James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: "While we can come back safely after most river flooding, there's no coming back for land that coastal erosion has taken away or which a rising sea level has put permanently or frequently under water.

"Which means that in some places the right answer will have to be to move communities away from danger."

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