Hopton's coastal erosion high on agenda

COASTAL erosion was high on agenda for residents at Hopton Parish Council's meeting - and the projected de-valuation of homes in the area. Councillors heard more residents needed to be aware of the effect erosion would have on the village should the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) be adopted by Great Yarmouth Borough Council in its present format.

COASTAL erosion was high on agenda for residents at Hopton Parish Council's meeting - and the projected de-valuation of homes in the area.

Councillors heard more residents needed to be aware of the effect erosion would have on the village should the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) be adopted by Great Yarmouth Borough Council in its present format. The document proposes “no active intervention” at Hopton.

The Parish Council has been involved at all stages and has proposed “active intervention” to prevent the further deterioration of sea defences.

There are various coastal erosion groups from Scratby downwards and resident Brian Hardisty will be setting up an independent and non political Hopton Coastal Erosion Group to gather data, inform residents and bring pressure on those in authority who can effect positive change for the present and future of the village.

Section 5 (3) of The Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour Revision Order 2005 (SI No. 2005 2601) was read out by chairman Mike Butcher. Protection is provided, by way of remedial works, should it be proven that the outer harbour works have caused damage, or reasonable expectation of damage, to surrounding coastal areas within a period of 10 years after completion of the construction.

The council is still awaiting a copy of the report commissioned by the borough providing base line data. This report was received by the borough many months ago but returned for re-analysis, on the basis that the validity of the base data was incorrect. The parish council has made several requests for an update on the current report situation but has to date received no response.

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Borough councillor Steve Ames advised that an ordnance survey visit takes place bi-monthly in Corton to take detailed measurements to assess the on-going situation of erosion of the sea defences in that area. He said that funding was national and there must be schemes in place to access the pot of money with criteria to assess the effectiveness of the scheme. A limited amount of funding was available, and there were higher density areas than Hopton that awere likely to take priority.

In his report, PCSO Dave Nickerson said there had been 46 calls to Norfolk Police from Hopton during December, which resulted in one crime.

County Councillor Gerry Cook reported that following attendance at a recent environmental meeting, there was no further information to report regarding the loss of sand and beach area in Hopton. It was noted that some of the sand had returned, but it is still at a low level. Work on the Warren Road footpath should start in April 2010, and once completed, the pathway will be included on a definitive map.

Construction works have started on the new village hall and the handover is still scheduled for August and an application to English Heritage regarding St Margaret's Ruins was still with the Borough Conservation Office but should be ready for the Parish Council to approve shortly. A small number of tree branches overhanging a property near the Ruins are to be removed.

Other matters noted were the use of five dog pooh bag dispensers; the Summer fete and carnival on Sunday, August 15 2010; and Trafalgar Grange play area, where work will start shortly on a play area.

Concern was also expressed at the switching off of street lighting overnight.

The next meeting is on Monday, March 8 at 7pm Hopton Village Hall.