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Wrecking team poised to tear down teetering homes on Hemsby cliff

PUBLISHED: 10:15 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:31 20 March 2018

Coastal erosion is threatening homes on The Marrams in Hemsby which are now on the cliff edge. Picture: Nick Butcher

Coastal erosion is threatening homes on The Marrams in Hemsby which are now on the cliff edge. Picture: Nick Butcher

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A wrecking team could move in and demolish the cliff-edge homes at Hemsby within a week.

Coastal erosion is threatening homes on The Marrams in Hemsby which are now on the cliff edge. Picture: Nick ButcherCoastal erosion is threatening homes on The Marrams in Hemsby which are now on the cliff edge. Picture: Nick Butcher

Fears over contamination and the potential hazard of debris on the beach mean it is the preferred solution, according to Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Graham Plant.

Mr Plant said there were legal hurdles and issues to do with permissions and insurance but the council would begin dismantling the properties on a home-by-home basis once everything was in place, adding they would be easier to deal with while they were still in one piece.

Some 13 homes are in danger of sliding down the sandy cliffs following the weekend’s high tides and surging seas.

At least one is said to be “defying gravity” with several in danger of falling in the next 24 hours.

A parish council meeting in the village last night saw some 50 local people turnout for a question and answer session with borough council officers and members.

Councillor James Bensly who runs a cafe in the village hailed Hemsby for its “humanity” and said community engagement was the key as cost-effective solutions were sought.

He said the sight of homes clinging to crumbling cliffs had bought the erosion threat into sharp focus and proved there was more at stake than ever before.

With the cost of defences dependant on what could be saved he said number-crunchers would have to re-evaluate their equations.

A consultation is understood to be taking place in the village on April 12 and local people are urged to get involved and dig out any evidence like photographs that could show the rate of erosion.

Parish council chairman Keith Kyriacou called for urgent action.

He said: “When the last dune is gone the road behind is exposed and hundreds of homes behind that. Once tourism is gone, we are stuffed.

“We want to know why we are not being protected.”

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