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Six more homes at Hemsby to be demolished

PUBLISHED: 09:33 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:38 01 May 2018

Umbrellas up in the rain and wind in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Umbrellas up in the rain and wind in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Six more clifftop homes at Hemsby are to be demolished, after strong winds and high tides ate away at more of the cliff face and rendered the properties dangerous.

Half a dozen properties in The Marrams were knocked down earlier this year after winter took its toll on the county’s coast.

And Great Yarmouth Borough Council has been monitoring the seven remaining clifftop properties to the east of The Marrams road, which have been at significant risk of falling onto the beach since the storm in March.

Last week, when the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning, officers liaised with the seven property owners, plus the landowner and the parish council, to ensure they were all aware of the strong winds and heavy rain forecast for Sunday night and today.

Due to the loss of further cliff material, six of the seven properties – numbers 195, 198, 199, 202, 203 and 204 The Marrams – are now dangerous structures and therefore need to be demolished in order to preserve public safety. The seventh property is still being monitored.

The borough council’s contractor, Anglian Demolition and Asbestos Ltd, has been instructed today and will set up on site tomorrow, with a view to undertaking the demolition work as soon as it is safe and practically possible to do so.

Borough council officers are also monitoring the privately-owned The Marrams road, which is the sole vehicular access for those seven properties to the east of the road, plus around 30 further properties to the west.

The borough council has previously raised concerns with the landlord of The Marrams, Geoffrey Watling (Norwich) Ltd, and officers are seeking a further meeting with them on-site.

Norfolk police are also monitoring the condition of the clifftop road with respect to safety.

Today, police officers visited all of these properties on behalf of the borough council to advise them to move their vehicles, on a precautionary basis, to the Marrams car park.

Tomorrow morning, council officers will visit all 30 properties to drop a letter, update them personally on the situation and address any questions or concerns.

Carl Smith, the deputy council leader, said: “Following the storm in March, when the initial properties were lost, it was a sad inevitability that the loss of more cliff material would take place at some time and leave further properties in a dangerous condition.

“Unfortunately, in these unusual circumstances, demolition is the only option to ensure public safety, which is the top priority. I would like to express the council’s sympathies to the owners of the affected properties and to the wider Hemsby community.

“Today has seen a robust multi-agency response and I would like to take this opportunity to praise those from Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, Norfolk County Council, the Hemsby Lifeboat and our other partners, who have worked well together.

“This remains a fast-changing situation, especially with the continuing bad weather and further high tides today and tomorrow, and we will continue to keep a close eye on the dangerous properties, the cliff and the privately-owned access road.

“The public are reminded to stay away from the area to the east of The Marrams road, the Marrams Road itself and the beach directly below the cliffs, as these areas remain dangerous.”

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