Fight, coastal action group urges

Hopton is aiming to swing a breaker's ball through a coastal defence plan which suggests no defence.Leaflets will be dropping on to more than 1,000 doormats urging villagers to take a stand against the Government's Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) at a public meeting at Potters Leisure Resort on Thursday.

Hopton is aiming to swing a breaker's ball through a coastal defence plan which suggests no defence.

Leaflets will be dropping on to more than 1,000 doormats urging villagers to take a stand against the Government's Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) at a public meeting at Potters Leisure Resort on Thursday.

Its suggestion to abandon a huge stretch of the coast to the sea has caused a storm of protest. But Brian Hardisty, chairman of Hopton Coastal Action Group, says not enough people have woken up to the implications of the plan on house prices and the damage it could do to the tourist industry.

He said a flurry of information drop-in sessions, including one at Sea Palling on Tuesday and at Great Yarmouth Town Hall on Wednesday this week were too low-key and unbalanced in that there was no opportunity for debate or to hear conflicting views.

The SMP has already been rejected once by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and is currently up for review.

Mr Hardisty said: “The meeting is to discuss the SMP for Hopton which has not been changed from what it was three years ago which is no active intervention in the medium and long term. Once the SMP is accepted by the borough council it is going to be there for 100 years.

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“Campaigner Malcolm Kerby told me that under no circumstances should the SMP be accepted by the borough council because there is nothing in place to stop things sliding in to the sea. Most people in the village have never heard of the SMP. Council representatives are coming to explain it to people. We have to create interest because once it's a deal and is accepted it is a done deal.”

Bernard Harris and Tim Howard will represent the borough council at the meeting. MP Brandon Lewis will be at Westminster and is sending a representative.

The meeting is in the Zest Rooms at Potters on Thursday at 7pm.

Brian Hardisty can be contacted at brianhardisty@btinternet.com .