Plans have been lodged to replace a landmark string of clifftop homes that are being torn down before toppling into the North Sea.

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And residents in Happisburgh are being urged to see the application to reinstate further inland the nine Beach Road properties as a positive step in the village’s battle against the advancing waters.

Diggers began tearing down the threatened homes earlier this month and have since flattened the former lifeboat and coastguard stations. The demolition work was hailed as the end of an era.

But a mixed reaction to the new plans has prompted a coastal campaigner to urge his neighbours to see the move as good news.

Malcolm Kerby worked for more than four years on the pioneering Pathfinder scheme, which secured government funds to help the community deal with erosion blight after ministers refused to stump up the cash to shore up the coast. Residents who wanted to move were given 40pc of the value of their homes.

He said the new plans had received a mixed reaction from residents but thought the village was pleased to see environment chiefs follow through on their pledge to replace the lost homes.

Mr Kerby said: “It’s a very difficult time for the community for in many ways it (the demolition) is the end of an era but I truly believe this is the start of another. Once those properties are built we will be set, I hope, for another quarter of a century with very few problems.

“If and when erosion catches up in 25 to 30 years time and the same situation applies, we have already got methodology in place to cope with it.

“The planning application and replacing those lost homes is one part of that process. I think it’s a very positive step for the community.”

The plans, submitted to North Norfolk District Council by TM Trustees, propose to build a mixture of three- and four-bedroom detached and semi-detached homes off North Walsham Road, behind Happisburgh Primary School.

Documents supporting the application state building the new homes will inject “confidence” into Happisburgh and show it has a “sustainable future” as the village currently has a poor economic reputation because it is seen as “falling into the sea”.

The levelling of the Beach Road homes is expected to take another nine weeks, after which the clifftop will be reinstated to grassland.

7 comments

  • Thought there was more to this than meets the eye !!. Who will be getting the brown envelopes then ??

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    "V"

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

  • Paul, you are right, the Dutch particularly invest a huge amount in coast protection, partly because proportionately, so much more of their national economy is at flood risk, an din cold hard numbers, the costbenefit rations stack so much more easily. It's worth noting though, that even the Dutch government are having to think about long term sustainability and working with coastal processes rather than against them. The line of those Dutch beaches, dunes and sea defences is inclreasingly reliant on repeated, expensive re-charge of sediment dredged from out in the North Sea. The very same practice that many here blame for coastal erosion itself. It's an emotive issue, but as long as the people affected are compensated and given justice, the adaptive approach being tried at Happisburgh could and should be the way forward. Allows the sediment from the eroding cliffs to be released (rather than locked up behind concrete walls) which in turn then helps nourish the beaches at Horsey and Winterton to the south, the ones that protect the Broads. At the same time Happisburgh doesn't die on its feet, because the planning system allows it to roll back. Seems reasonable to me.

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    beeston bump

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

  • Building homes that may only last 25 years??? This don't seem right and the whole affair stinks.

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    nrg

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

  • That`s very sensible stuff, Mr. Bump.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, April 29, 2012

  • Such a pity that successive governments have not had the will to do more coastal defence protection work. Holland and North Germany have and do so much more successfully reclaiming land from the sea. Maybe if they stopped instead of increasing payments to the EU and unaccountable overseas aid to countries they (the government) could do a bit for dear old England for a change.

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    Paul Platten

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

  • It would be nice if people who commented on here actually knew what they were talking about. The proposal is to build the new houses behind the school - well away from the erosion and further away than I currently live - I am told that my house, and the lighthouse which it sits behind, will still be standing in 200 years so please, check your facts out before spouting off eh!

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    SW23

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • Not very joined up thinking for 2 reasons.1, Who is going to buy a house that may fall over the cliff in 25 years time, and 2, They will need to be able to pay cash as i cannot see any bank giving them a mortgage with this potential problem hanging over them

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

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