Fears over Gorleston sea defences

DECADES of being battered by the elements have left parts of Gorleston sea wall looking somewhat worse for wear.

Now one concerned resident has fears that the ageing beachside buttress may not be able to withstand a future onslaught from the tide.

Several large cracks and holes on sections of the wall urgently need to be patched up, according to Dennis Durrant.

Mr Durrant, 75, doubts the 50-year-old structure would be able to withstand a powerful tidal surge unless it is repaired.

He has discovered some of the cracks and fissures in parts of the wall below Gorleston cliff-top are several inches deep.

Mr Durrant said: “This week I measured a 17in hollow right to the back of the wall where it was clearly crumbling away. It was possible to move the ruler around as the material is so loose.

“There are a succession of cracks and holes in the wall along just a short section near the beach cafe, because it has not been maintained.

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“The beach losing sand puts the wall at risk, especially when it has lots of deep cracks where the sea can weaken the structure. I hope our shore will remain at its present level for many years but we have to be vigilant and prepared. Unfortunately nature is in charge of the sea and beach, but we have the ability to care for the sea wall.”

He added: “The council could and should refill and repair all the cracks as a precaution against further beach erosion through the winter.

“A survey is also needed to check the underground structure condition of the wall and discover its real state.”

Local historian Mr Durrant, who created the Gorleston Heritage website, added that tides have been rising in the last few weeks, with the most recent covering the groynes on the beach.

A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “We are aware of the problem and patching work is planned. The timing depends on the milder weather and will probably take place in the spring. The wall is not in a structurally dangerous condition.”