Plans for 1.3km sea defence for Hemsby submitted

View of the homes on the Marrams in Hemsby a month on from the tidal surge. January 2014. Picture:

Flashback: View of the homes on the Marrams in Hemsby a month on from the tidal surge in December 2013. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Plans for a long-awaited sea defence scheme for erosion hotspot Hemsby have been submitted.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is behind the bid for a 1,330m rock berm aimed at slowing erosion along the vulnerable stretch.

If approved it will provide short term protection for 20 years, without which some 75 properties could be at risk.

Demolition work at Hemsby. Picture: Nick Butcher

A home in The Marrams being demolished in 2018 after the Beast from the East. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Papers submitted with the bid say Hemsby sits on a particularly complicated stretch of coast with multiple forces combining to affect the sandy dunes.

They highlight the role of Winterton Ness as it moves northwards and various other influences including tides, surges, and storm events - and say not all elements are completely understood.

The erosion impact at Hemsby was particularly stark, the report states, because of the impact on properties.

The proposal is for a rock berm from the northern end of the over flow car park at the entrance to the valley, to Newport Road meeting the gabions. 

It  will be 20m wide and 3m high and placed about 5m in front of the dunes.

The cost is estimated at between £5m and £14m.

Homes on The Marrams in Hemsby are on the verge of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Homes on The Marrams in Hemsby are on the verge of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

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A shorter 1,090m berm is also included,  to allow for a shortfall in funding.

The report by Jacobs states erosion and loss of properties at Hemsby had been ongoing for decades with the dunes themselves being relatively new and forming within the last 200 years.

It says the rate has come in fits and starts with chalets likely being built during a stable period.

After the Second World War there were three lines of chalets with many lost along the front line up to the 1980s.

Another streak was recorded between 1992 and 1997.

Several properties were lost during storms in 2013 to 2014, with a loss of a further 13 properties in February 2018.

The report estimates that over 75 properties could be at risk from coastal erosion within the next 20 years.

Public access to the beach will be maintained via a timber decked ramp.

Keith Kyriacou, chairman of Hemsby Parish Council, hailed the application as "a positive step forward" adding that it needed to be passed immediately.

In July a council report said drawing down funding for the scheme would be a "significant challenge."

To view the plans visit the borough council's planning portal on its website.

A decision is due by February 22.




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