Demolition work to start to knock down erosion hit homes in Hemsby

Lance Martin's home in the The Marrams is hanging over the edge of the cliff. Photo: Liz Coates

Lance Martin's home in the The Marrams is hanging over the edge of the cliff. Photo: Liz Coates - Credit: Archant

Demolition work will start on Wednesday to safely rip down and dispose of the seven dangerous clifftop properties at Hemsby.

Today Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s contractor set up on site today and started to clear fallen debris left from the heavy winds and rain.

The council says due to the loss of cliff material since Sunday night, seven properties – numbers 195, 196, 198, 199, 202, 203 and 204 on The Marrams – are now dangerous structures and therefore need to be demolished in order to preserve public safety.

Following assessments this morning, the council’s contractor, Anglian Demolition and Asbestos Ltd, is today clearing up the larger debris which have fallen onto the beach, and intends to start demolition of the properties tomorrow afternoon, working around the high tides.

If all goes as planned, demolition work is anticipated to be complete by Friday.

The privately-owned clifftop access road to The Marrams has been closed for public safety, as the area is now a demolition site.

The borough council and its demolition contractor are actively monitoring the road, which is the sole vehicular access for 34 further properties to the west of the road.

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The borough council has previously raised concerns about the road with the landlord of The Marrams, Geoffrey Watling (Norwich) Ltd, and officers are meeting with them to discuss the company’s aspirations and responsibilities for their road and The Marrams residents.

Today, borough council officers will visit all 34 properties to drop a letter updating residents on the situation and to speak with them about any questions or concerns.

Yesterday, residents were advised to move their vehicles, on a precautionary basis, to the nearby car park.

The borough council continues to liaise with Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk County Council, Hemsby Lifeboat, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and UK Power Networks as part of the multi-agency response to the situation.

Carl Smith, the deputy council leader, said: “The borough council has continued to update the owners of the seven dangerous properties, and would again like to express its sympathies to them and to the wider Hemsby community, which has once again pulled together during this difficult time. We will also seek to personally update those residents to the west of The Marrams road.

“Public safety is a top priority, which is the reason for demolishing the seven dangerous properties and closing the private access road. The work will be completed as soon as practically and safely possible, hopefully by Friday, with crews using the windows of opportunity afforded between high tides to gain access to the beach with their machinery.

“While the intention is to keep as much debris on the clifftop as possible for safe removal and disposal, this is a rather delicate demolition operation, so it is inevitable that further debris will fall onto the beach. If you are in the area during demolition, we ask you to act sensibly and always consider your safety.

“The area to the east of The Marrams road and the beach below the cliffs remain dangerous. There will be contractors and their vehicles on the beach during low tide, and people should therefore keep a safe distance. Anyone on the beach at low tide should ensure that they are aware of the tide times and therefore give themselves plenty of time to move off the beach.”