Demolition work continues on chalets at risk of falling off cliff

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Work is continuing today to demolish two more homes at risk of falling into the sea at Hemsby.

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Yesterday the first clifftop chalet at the Marrams was ripped down by heavy machinery.

And similar heart-breaking scenes will continue today and tomorrow with four other chalets dangling over the cliff due to be pulled down in a Great Yarmouth Borough Council-run operation.

The demolition work is being carried out by Anglian Demolition and Asbestos Ltd and it is hoped to be completed in time for the Easter break with workmen starting at 5.30am this morning, stopping for the high tides and re-starting during the low tides.

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Speaking yesterday, a council spokesman said two demolition crews had successfully demolished the first home, after using machinery working in tandem to simultaneously push and pull it back from the cliff edge.

Today, the contractor will start to work through the other four properties in turn. Crews will aim to use the same push-pull technique, although it is anticipated that some properties might break up in the process.

Any debris which lands on the beach will be removed and disposed of.

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

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Carl Smith, deputy council leader, said: “While the intention is to keep as much debris on the cliff-top as possible for safe removal and disposal, this is a somewhat delicate demolition operation involving heavy machinery and damaged properties perched on a soft cliff that is still stabilising to its natural gradient, so it is inevitable that further debris will fall onto the beach.

“The way the community has come together during this difficult time is inspirational and it is important to emphasise, in support of that community, that the tourism businesses in Hemsby will still be open as usual in time for the Easter holidays.”

Great Yarmouth Borough Council said eight more homes are at “very significant risk” of being lost as the sand continues to move.

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Talks are continuing with insurers and the council about what will happen to them.

The land the homes are on is owned by Geoffrey Watling Norwich Limited.

Both the borough council and Hemsby Lifeboat Station have warned people to stay away while the demolition work is being carried out.

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Several properties have now been demolished. Picture: Antony Kelly

Several properties have now been demolished. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Houses were left hanging over the edge of the dunes. Picture: Antony Kelly

Houses were left hanging over the edge of the dunes. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant