How can Hemsby best be protected from surging seas?

View of the homes on the Marrams in Hemsby a month on from the tidal surge. January 2014. Picture:

Flashback: View of the homes on the Marrams in Hemsby a month on from the tidal surge, January 2014. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

An online consultation has been launched into how best to protect Hemsby from erosion.

Instead of milling about in a village hall, chatting in clusters, and filling out response forms the process has had to go virtual in line with Government rules on limiting the spread of Covid 19.

Rock berm consultation Hemsby

A virtual village hall has been created to help people become involved in the crucial next steps for erosion-hit Hemsby. - Credit: GYBC

Residents and businesses are now being asked to visit a "virtual village hall" as the best way of replicating how we previously perused information boards, and discussed the ins and outs with project leaders.

The online tool goes live today (Monday May 10) and features an introduction from James Bensly whose borough council ward includes the village which has suffered a string of erosion streaks since 2013.

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

Flashback: Homes were demolished following severe erosion in The Marrams, Hemsby, 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

In the virtual village hall people will be able to view options for a rock berm and weigh up the various cost-versus-benefit scenarios.


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The digital experience has been put together by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Coastal Partnership East who have been working with the community to consider ways to respond to coastal change along the erosion-scarred stretch.

Maurice Broom was not able to clear all of his possessions from his home in Hemsby. Picture: Nick Bu

Flashback: One householder was not able to clear all of his possessions from his home in Hemsby. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant

Penny Carpenter, chairman of the environment committee, said Hemsby was on the frontline of climate change impacts and that the consultation was "the next important step" towards shaping and submitting a final scheme.

Virtual village hall Hemsby consultation

People are being urged to visit a virtual village hall instead of a real one under a consultation into what happens next at Hemsby. - Credit: GYBC

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She said: “We are fully aware of the constant worry and the impact on residents and businesses who are directly affected by costal erosion, therefore I would encourage all residents and businesses within Hemsby to take part in this virtual consultation."

Virtual consultation Hemsby erosion rock berm

People are being asked to visit a virtual village hall to have their say on how best to manage coastal erosion in Hemsby. - Credit: GYBC

The virtual village hall has information about the options, environmental studies, and reports which can be viewed and downloaded.

Visitors can navigate around a 360-degree view, reading the display boards, view Power Point presentations and a short film.

Questions can be left for the project team, along with feedback.

Hemsby experienced significant erosion during the 2013 tidal surge and again in 2018.

Hemsby erosion. The Marrams.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Hemsby erosion. The Marrams.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Further erosion has taken place this winter leaving just one house standing, where once there were 13.

To visit the virtual village hall and have your say visit www.coasteast.org.uk.

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