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Your chance to have a say on coastal erosion in Hemsby

PUBLISHED: 11:50 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:43 12 April 2018

Homes were demolished following severe erosion in The Marrams, Hemsby. Picture: Nick Butcher

Homes were demolished following severe erosion in The Marrams, Hemsby. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

The community is invited to attend a drop-in session today in Hemsby to discuss how best to manage and defend the coastline.

The gabion sea defences along the shoreline of Hemsby are in need of some urgent repair.
Picture: Nick ButcherThe gabion sea defences along the shoreline of Hemsby are in need of some urgent repair. Picture: Nick Butcher

In March, five homes in the village were demolished after severe coastal erosion left them overhanging the cliff edge.

This weekend, a further home is to be knocked down before it falls, and seven more are said to be at “significant risk”.

Now, the public is invited to share their thoughts on what can be done to protect the village going forwards, to the betterment of the whole community.

It is hoped attendees will offer first-hand local information about how the coast has changed and share their aspirations for the future of the village.

More homes along the Marrams, Hemsby are in danger of falling into the sea.
Picture: Nick ButcherMore homes along the Marrams, Hemsby are in danger of falling into the sea. Picture: Nick Butcher

The drop-in is part of the initial phases of a £35,000 study, funded by the Environment Agency, which will assess a range of options and risks facing the coastline between Hemsby and Winterton, with the former the priority during the initial phases of the study.

Deputy council leader Carl Smith was eager to emphasise the importance of the drop-in and the need to balance the needs of all affected.

He said: “The coastline here is very dynamic and the challenges are not solely financial and technical.

“This drop-in is about involving the community in an informed conversation about how best to manage this stretch of coastline to balance the aspirations of the community as a whole, bearing in mind that any intervention for the cliffs at Hemsby will have impacts for the beach and wider coastline, upon which communities rely.

“So identifying a pragmatic approach that balances needs and satisfies communities and agencies like Natural England is vital.”

Mr Smith added the community would remain involved in the process as the study progresses.

He said: “A draft report will be ready in eight weeks. Various assessed options for Hemsby will then be presented back to the community and there will be a collective decision, involving the community, on the best way forward.

“The community information gathered at this drop-in will also be used to support conversations with the government, landowners and other potential funders and agencies.”

The drop-in is at the village hall in Water’s Lane between 2pm and 7pm today (Thursday, April 12).

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