Coastal erosion: Help for clifftop homeowner as he considers 'plan Z'

Lance Martin Hemsby erosion

Lance Martin's home in Hemsby. His is the last one standing after 12 others were lost to coastal erosion in the aftermath of the Beast from the East in 2018. - Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

Help is at hand for a homeowner whose clifftop property is in peril after high tides and winds tore into sandy cliffs.

Diggers are set to move in at Hemsby where Lance Martin's dream retirement retreat is at risk.

Lance Martin coastal erosion Hemsby

Lance Martin at his home in Hemsby - the front line of the battle against erosion. - Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

On Easter Monday his property in The Marrams, the last one standing on the exposed stretch, was brought even closer to the brink after 20ft was lost from the base of the dune creating a sheer cliff face.

The lifeboat was also left high and dry with the crew struggling to launch to an alert.

On Friday , April 9, volunteers from the independent rescue service are bringing in heavy machinery to repair the beach and backfill behind rocks.

Then, over the weekend, they will help Mr Martin to make his teetering property more secure.

Lance Martin's Hemsby home The Marrams

Lance Martin's home teeters on the edge of a sandy dune cliff, April 2021. - Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

The 63-year-old former soldier who served with the Grenadier Guards said around 80 rocks would be repositioned closer to the base of the dune and work carried out to build it back up to a 35 degree slope.

Knowing that something was going to be done had made him feel "a bit less stressed" and "more secure" following the brutal battering that gave him a sleepless night on Easter Monday.

"It has lifted a weight off my mind knowing that something positive is going to happen.

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"It is fantastic. You do meet some very nice people from all walks of life."

Mr Martin bought the property, which he has renamed Dune Falls, in 2017 expecting a peaceful retirement.

At the time a huge dune towered over his home, and taking in the sea view meant a climb to the top.

Now the waves lap just 20ft from his back door.

Lance Martin Hemsby erosion

Former solder Lance Martin says there is still fight left in him as he battles to save his Hemsby home. - Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

Mr Martin lost around 100ft of sand almost overnight during the Beast from the East in 2018 - and says he was told at the time a bid for sea defences would take around three years.

A rock berm is considered  the most deliverable option, but planning and consultation hurdles have still to be cleared.

He says he has a "plan Z" which involves dragging his home across the road to a vacant plot, adding that day might be coming sooner than he had hoped.

"I actually sat down this morning and put pen to paper and did some drawings to see how that could happen,"  he said.