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WATCH: Demolition starts on erosion-hit clifftop chalets in Hemsby

PUBLISHED: 18:08 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:27 23 March 2018

Work has started on the demolition of the homes that are now overhanging the cliff on The Marrams, Hemsby.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Work has started on the demolition of the homes that are now overhanging the cliff on The Marrams, Hemsby. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

It was a sight no one in Hemsby hoped they would have to see - a clifftop home being torn down by demolition workers.

Work has started on the demolition of the homes that are now overhanging the cliff on The Marrams, Hemsby.
Picture: Nick ButcherWork has started on the demolition of the homes that are now overhanging the cliff on The Marrams, Hemsby. Picture: Nick Butcher

Today the first clifftop chalet at the Marrams was flattened by heavy machinery as its metal jaws ripped into the home’s roof.

And similar heart-breaking scenes were set to continue tomorrow and Sunday 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 every day, stopping for the high tides and re-starting during the low tides.

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

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.

It released a statement which said: “Geoffrey Watling Norwich Limited has, and continues to, take its responsibilities for the Marrams seriously.

“Over £20,000 was spent on blocks on Hemsby beach, as soon as approval was obtained from the borough council and the other agencies concerned, after the 2013 tidal surge, along with undertaking extensive works restoring the damage caused in the Marrams itself over the following two years.

“It has also made a substantial contribution, along with the borough Council and Save Hemsby Coastline, for the trial blocks and stone gabions which are in place on the southern Marrams and are currently under assessment by the relevant agencies.

“The company has ring fenced funds for future projects when these can be identified and appraised.”

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

Today also saw Brandon Lewis, Great Yarmouth MP, visit Hemsby for the first time since the erosion crisis started last weekend.

He said: “The priority is to get that approved scheme. We have got to do what we can to protect people’s livelihoods.”

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