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Criticism over “disrespectful” sightseers and metal detectorists heading to Hemsby to see cliff-fall homes

PUBLISHED: 09:59 21 March 2018

Homes on The Marrams in Hemsby are on the verge of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Homes on The Marrams in Hemsby are on the verge of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

People are ignoring warnings to stay away from crumbling cliffs at Hemsby.

Homes on The Marrams in Hemsby are on the verge of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion.
Picture: Nick ButcherHomes on The Marrams in Hemsby are on the verge of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion. Picture: Nick Butcher

As teetering homes held overnight the morning’s sunshine was likely to bring another crop of sight-seers looking to see for themselves the scale and drama of the disaster, said lifeboat coxswain Daniel Hurd.

Mr Hurd said although some of the Marrams was cordoned off there were other access points where people could peer over at the debris below.

And he tagged as “disrespectful” the actions of people with metal detectors combing the beach before homeowners had had a chance to see if anything could be salvaged, adding: “The last thing we want is people getting hurt.”

A string of 13 homes is in danger of slipping down the sandy cliffs.

Some have partially collapsed leaving fully furnished rooms exposed.

Meanwhile Graham Plant, Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader, said it was the council’s ambition to clear the beach by Easter, providing it was safe to do so.

All the homeowners affected had given their permission for the homes to be torn down and the council was working with insurance companies to make sure they were happy too.

The council was also looking to meet with the Geoffrey Watling Trust which owns the beach from the high tide to understand who had responsibility for what.

He said members and officers were also working closely with the Environment Agency.

Contamination was an issue with all the oil tanks - one of which had been refilled the day before the storm - being pumped out.

“Looking at the beach this morning it looks like stuff is starting to fall over the edge,” he said.

“We are getting our cleaning teams in to make sure we keep it as clean and tidy as possible.”

He added the council was continuing with its coastal management plan.

“It was supposed to be a one in 200 year event but in the last five years we have had two.”

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