Crumbling coastline at Hemsby and Winterton is focus of £35,000 study
PUBLISHED: 18:36 03 April 2018
Archant © 2018
A £35,000 study is beginning soon which it is hoped will identify a solution to help erosion-threatened homes in Hemsby.
Ian Brennan, chairman of Save Hemsby Coastline, said it was much more than a number-crunching exercise to the people who stood to lose everything and the wider tourism economy across Norfolk which depended on the seaside village.
Villagers are being invited to a drop-in at the village hall in Water’s Lane next Thursday (April 12) as part of a review that will see expert engineer minds focused on what can be done at Hemsby and, at a later phase, Winterton.
Mr Brennan said that having their say was an important part of the process, hammering home just how high feelings were running over the issue with The Marrams badly hit in the last few weeks.
MORE: Hemsby man’s plan to lift entire home and move it away from cliff edge
Five clifftop bungalows were demolished in the aftermath of the Beast of the East and eight remain at risk.
Mr Brennan said a “shovel ready” scheme had to be decided on first before cash could be secured to stop the heartbreak erosion causes.
More than 10,000 people have now signed a petition demanding government action.
He said the hexagonal blocks funded by local fundraising had been partially successful holding on to 50pc more sand than in other areas but that the campaign group was keeping an open mind.
MORE: Delivery of up to 100 tonnes of sand to Hemsby gets under way
“We think our blocks worked fairly well and are a cost effective solution,” he said.
“But we will go with whatever they say is the right way forward.
“My biggest worry is for the next row of houses, there are around 100 and they are next. Where do you draw the line?
“Looking around the world there are some incredible things being done.
“All it takes is for the people in power to make it so, but until then we are fighting a rearguard action. I do not want to keep saying: ‘I told you so.’”
“The time to do something was five years ago and if it’s not going to happen now it is never going to be the time.”
MORE: New drone footage shows homes sitting on collapsed cliff edge in Hemsby
Carl Smith, deputy council leader, said: “It is clear the sea is Hemsby’s greatest asset, but also its greatest risk.”
The coastal management study is being carried out by the borough council, and a draft report will be ready in around two months.
It has been funded by the Environment Agency.
The drop-in is from 2pm to 7pm.