A Happisburgh cliff-top resident now fears she could have as little as one year left in her erosion-threatened home after a storm devoured a chunk of her garden.

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Bryony Nierop-Reading woke to find part of her Beach Road fence dangling over a sheer 60-ft drop to the North Sea below after a night of strong onshore winds and rough seas.

Mrs Nierop-Reading, 67, said that as a result of the storm, a 10-foot diagonal corner of her garden, including a section of her path and a length of fencing, had tumbled into the sea below.

There is now only 25-30ft of land on the southern side between her bungalow and the brink.

She fears her personal safety could be under threat in another year, forcing her to quit her beloved home.

And she is bitter at action taken by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), which she believes has made her plight much worse.

Mrs Nierop-Reading claims that by removing revetments and “unsightly metalwork” from the sea, NNDC had caused a point of land, south of her property and which protected her home, to erode at a greatly-accelerated rate.

“I am having to seriously consider what I’m going to do,” she said. “The $90,000 question is: ‘Is it going to go any further?’ I’m watching very carefully. If another section goes, it would all become much more urgent.”

Mrs Nierop-Reading was the only permanent resident of Beach Road who refused to sell her home for demolition by NNDC earlier this year.

She believed she might have up to 25 years to enjoy the wild sea views she adores but was angered when NNDC asked the public, at what she claimed was a “flawed consultation”, whether they would like the materials removed from the sea as part of a clearing up and re-landscaping project in the wake of the demolition of nine Beach Road properties.

Mrs Nierop-Reading claimed the questions put to the public were slanted to encourage them to agree to the removal so that the beach area would look more attractive.

An NNDC spokesman said: “All Beach Road residents were fully aware of the plans, the potential risks and the potential benefits, when they chose whether or not to accept the council’s offers to purchase their homes.”

The council had provided some advice and help on removing small beach debris to a local group and the parish council, who now carried out their own beach cleans.

The initiative was good and generally welcomed in the parish. “NNDC will also continue to remove debris as and when it occurs and is accessible,” he said.

12 comments

  • I bet Norman Lamb's expenses for 1 year would pay for enough rocks to protect most of NN. What is Norman doing anyway?

    Report this comment

    Kempster

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • I agree with Daisy Roots - people who move to a clifftop house and then act surprised are like people who move to Norfolk and complain the roads are bad, or those who move to Norwich and complain the rail service to London is rubbish, or those who move to Yarmouth and complain the place is a dump.... all these things are well known and obvious to anyone with a bit of common sense - BUYER BEWARE!

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    Wisbech, CAPITAL of the Fens

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Serves you right? Are the people making these comments aware that coastal erosion does not stop at Beach Road in Happisburgh and that once the sea defences are breached people living in supposedly safe areas will be affected once again by sea water flooding. Pointing the waving finger at Bryony, who is at least making a stand to call for something to be done to slow the rate of erosion down is akin to stoning someone who is accused of a crime. Better to throw your stones at the base of the cliff!

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    Andrew Fletcher

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Has Mrs Nierop-Reading never heard of that old phrase TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN? And is the $90,000 question the old $64,000 question with inflation added?!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Like all those who choose to move to the coast and live on clifftops comprised of soft sands and clays, glacial or otherwise, she rather deserved what she got. The generous settlement for those relocating from these not very old properties was quite enough. Like those who have moved into newish and new homes at Scratby and other locations, they deserve little sympathy. It is not as if they are ill educated poor people living donkeys years ago whose cottages and villages were originally built a fair step from the sea, or who lived bang on the coast because they were fishermen.Many seem to have a romantic ideal and they buy a sea view and then spend their time moaning about coastal defences when the effect of erosion and longshore drift on the east Norfolk coast is well known and documented. One good blow in January and she could be swimming for it.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • I get the impression that this lady has trouble accepting the truth of the situation...that she put herself in this position and it's not really anybody else's fault. In that case it seems regrettable that she still gets given the oxygen of publicity every time a bit more cliff crumbles away.

    Report this comment

    Chris Booty

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Has Mrs Nierop-Reading never heard of that old phrase TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN? And is the $90,000 question the old $64,000 question with inflation added?!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Mrs.Reading blames a flawed consultation.When have consultations ever been fair or on the side of the public?I was looking at recent photographs of the beaches and dunes around Winterton and people who live in some of those areas seem to be in more danger than Mrs.Reading.The dunes are simply being washed away leaving massive gaps for the sea to break the defences.

    Report this comment

    john kendall

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • I think it's time to go. 25-30 feet is not a safe distance to live from a cliff-edge. The rate of erosion is likely to accelerate and I don't think the Council can be held responsible for that.

    Report this comment

    JCW

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • She had her chance and refused to budge when everyone else decided to take up NNDC's offer even though it was obvious that her house would soon fall into the sea. Leaving a few bits of rusty metal won't make the slightest difference

    Report this comment

    Mylen1um

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Has Mrs Nierop-Reading never heard of that old phrase TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN? And is the $90,000 question the old $64,000 question with inflation added?!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Has Mrs Nierop-Reading never heard of that old phrase TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN? And is the $90,000 question the old $64,000 question with inflation added?!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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