Tell us about your sea plan

THE chairman of a village regeneration group has added his voice to the growing opposition to plans to surrender a 25 square mile area of north Norfolk to the sea.

THE chairman of a village regeneration group has added his voice to the growing opposition to plans to surrender a 25 square mile area of north Norfolk to the sea.

Eric Lindo, who lives in Hickling and chairs the Stalham with Happing Partnership, rubbished claims by Natural England, the government body behind the plans, that it was “showing leadership.”

He said the government had the money to spend on flood defence and that four times as much money was being spent on Natural England than on sea walls.

He also remarked on reports the cost of staging the London Olympics in 2012 would come to £4m more than first thought, when that amount would cover the cost of flood defence for the foreseeable future.

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Mr Lindo said although a new sea wall was to be built along the A149 to protect Stalham, his home village could be flooded.

As chair of Hickling Parish Council, he plans to write a letter to Natural England chairman Sir Martin Doughty asking him to visit villages in north Norfolk to explain his organisation's plans.

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“Natural England's mission statement says that they are for people, places and nature in that order and when the present chairman Sir Martin Doughty was appointed he said it would put people first and I see no evidence of that happening.

“Now I see his announcement that we have to face up to the reality of global warming, but what they do not say is that a very small percentage of people have to deal with the cost of Natural England's plans.”

Sir Martin insisted his organisation was “showing leadership” when he wrote on a national newspaper website: “Natural England is leading on groundbreaking research to assess the potential impact that climate change may have on England's natural environment.

“Our research in the Norfolk Broads is just the beginning of the journey, as we learn how to help our wildlife adapt to the impact of climate change at a landscape scale.”

Last week, the Mercury reported flood warden John Holland's warning the village of Potter Heigham could be devastated as one of six villages surrendered to the sea with the loss of businesses, tourist trade, diverse natural habitats and up to 2,000 homes- three of which are grade one listed and three grade two.

Under the Natural England proposals the sea would be allowed to breach defences between Horsey and Winterton, flooding areas as far inland as Potter Heigham and Stalham as well as parts of Somerton.

Four options were outlined for tackling coastal erosion, one of which was to hold the line along the sea wall. The other three options were to do nothing and let nature take its course; to hold the line and maintain existing defences; and to adapt the line by moving coastal defences slightly inland.

Sea walls would be built in Potter Heigham and Stalham. The document suggests this action could be taken within the next 20 to 50 years.

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