Living dangerously: Lance Martin back on the brink

Lance Martin is preparing to move his home in erosion-hit Hemsby again.

Lance Martin is preparing to implement 'Plan Z' which involves dragging his home back from the brink for a second time. If he had given up on his dream he would likely be 'in some Godforsaken flat' he said. - Credit: Liz Coates

Two nights of bruising high tides have added to frustration about long-awaited sea  defences and given one home owner more work to do shoring up defences.

Lance Martin, of The Marrams, Hemsby, is not one to fret but even he admits to "a bit of stress" in the last few days as surging seas lapped against the soft sandy dunes holding up his clifftop home.

Lance Martin is looking to move his home away from the edge of the cliff.

The back of Lance Martin's patio garden is precariously poised after two nights of high tides have weakened the dunes and his own sea defences at the base which are doing their job but need rearranging. - Credit: Liz Coates

The 64-year-old pulled his home some 10m back from the brink in May 2018, and is now looking to move across the road and out of danger - something that might need to happen sooner than he had hoped under his 'Plan Z.'

Due to his ingenuity his was the only house along the stretch to survive the Beast from the East in 2018.

Lance Martin lives on the edge in Hemsby

Lance Martin's home is on the front line of the erosion battle in Hemsby. - Credit: Liz Coates

The former soldier is planning to employ the same tactics again, lifting what is classed as a mobile home the few feet across The Marrams to relative safety - at least for a while.

On Monday night he said he was keeping half-hourly watch checking on whether his few feet of back garden were still there.

His property emerged relatively unscathed having lost some fencing, but the dunes now need shoring up and the concrete blocks he laid to protect his home will have to be rearranged - which means bringing a digger back on the beach. Once that work is complete he will start preparing to move again.

Lance Martin will not give up on his dream home in erosion-hit Hemsby

Lance Martin fears his home is at risk again and will have to be moved across the road. - Credit: Liz Coates

"I don't want to have to move it ," he said. "And if they bring in the rock berm, I wont have to.

"As I said from the start it should have been done in 2013.

"All this doesn't faze me. It is becoming the norm. You just pull your socks up and get on with it."

The Marrams in Hemsby is at risk from erosion

The road along the dunes in Hemsby is just a few feet from oblivion as of February 1, 2022. - Credit: Liz Coates

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Mr Martin moved to Hemsby in November 2017 amid assurances the dunes were eroding at a rate or around 1m a year- since then an estimated 30m has been lost and all his neighbour's homes demolished.

"If I had given up the ghost in 2018 who knows where I would be?" he said, adding: "Probably in some Godforsaken flat."

Chalet remains in The Marrams, Hemsby

The remains of a chalet partially demolished in 2018 after the Beast from the East is now perilously close to the edge as of February 1, 2022. - Credit: Liz Coates

Meanwhile homes nearby are still selling, his nearest neighbour due to welcome a new family.

"It is worrying," he said. "Which is why I need to get this sorted."

A chalet in The Marrams

The rear of a former chalet in The Marrams. Just the front half remains but its days look numbered. - Credit: Liz Coates