Funding for Hemsby sea defences a 'significant challenge'

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

Finding cash to fund a rock berm that would protect coastal homes from erosion will be a "significant challenge", according to a report.

A 1,300m rock berm has been hailed “the best option” for Hemsby in its efforts to stop villagers’ homes falling into the sea.

The village has been battling the waves for decades - but the Beast from the East in 2018 created such powerful storm surges that 13 chalets were torn from the cliffside.

Demolition of houses at Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

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

Councillors will hear at a meeting on Wednesday (July 28) that while "significant progress" has been made in the bid to build a sea defence, funding of the scheme "still remains a significant challenge".

A report, prepared for the borough council's environment committee, advises the council should apply for consents to build the rock berm as there are benefits in developing a project that is shovel-ready that could take advantage of unexpected funding.

Public consultation on the scheme took place in May and June, with 397 people visiting a virtual village hall.

Forty-three people, most of them living in Hemsby, left feedback, but due to the limited number of responses it was not possible to say there was a clear preference for any of the rock berm options.


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Ten people favoured the 1,300m design while 13 respondents voted for an extended berm.

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