Scratby campaigns over flood fears

ANOTHER coastal community is rallying people to loudly oppose a high-level policy which they say threatens seaside homes and businesses.Campaigners in Scratby this week joined those in Hopton in saying they had no intention of facing the future without a battle and have organised a public meeting in a bid to get more people voicing their concerns over the Shoreline Management Plan which is emerging from its final review.

ANOTHER coastal community is rallying people to loudly oppose a high-level policy which they say threatens seaside homes and businesses.

Campaigners in Scratby this week joined those in Hopton in saying they had no intention of facing the future without a battle and have organised a public meeting in a bid to get more people voicing their concerns over the Shoreline Management Plan which is emerging from its final review.

According to some predictions more than 150 homes and businesses could be lost to erosion in the popular holiday village over the next 100 years, although a crucial funding decision on a �5m rock berm is in Government hands and officials -having spent around �200,000 working up the scheme - are hoping for a positive response.

Hopton was due to debate the issue last night after hundreds of homes were leafleted.


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Chris Hogg, chairman of Scratby Coastal Erosion group, said consultation on the 2008 revision of the SMP was drawing to a close and without action could be accepted by the borough council by the end of the year.

“The meeting is very important. It is our last chance. Basically the SMP has come back and it's virtually unchanged since the previous one. Where do you stop? Could we end up losing Ormesby?” He is also concerned about compensation.

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Borough council regeneration officer Tim Howard, said: “The Shoreline Management Plan is the culmination of several years determining the best way to deal with coastal change.

“The plan provides for a series of actions ranging from full defence to no active intervention. For some parts of the coast a policy of managed retreat has been adopted. This will keep existing defences maintained for a designated period in order to allow for communities to adjust to the realignment of the coastline.

“The SMP is a draft document and comments are welcome from members of the public via the North Norfolk District Council website and any other mediums. Following this process the SMP for this region will be considered as part of a national coastal management strategy.”

Recent consultation has mostly focussed on the Strategic Environmental Assessment - a document within the SMP. Mr Howard said the SMP drew on scientific analysis and financial reality. The partnership group lead by North Norfolk District Council aimed to adopt the policy by October.

Mr Howard said the council did not have anything like enough resources to deal with erosion but that it was committed to the rock berm as part of the intention to manage the retreat, although it would not last forever.

The meeting is on Thursday June 24 at 7.30pm at the Village Centre, Station Road, Ormesby St Margaret.

The main speaker will be Malcolm Kerby, Chairman of the National Voice of Coastal Communities and the Coastal Concern Action Group.

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