Video and photo gallery: Multi-million pound project to build new sea defences at Hopton gets under way

Work on a massive project being led by Bourne Leisure to build granite groynes in the North Sea that will prevent further erosion of the beach at Hopton-on-Sea.
A barge carrying thousands of tonnes of granite from Norway stationed in the North Sea, with a vessel carrying smaller quantities of the stone making journeys towards the shore to commence the construction work.

Picture: James Bass Work on a massive project being led by Bourne Leisure to build granite groynes in the North Sea that will prevent further erosion of the beach at Hopton-on-Sea. A barge carrying thousands of tonnes of granite from Norway stationed in the North Sea, with a vessel carrying smaller quantities of the stone making journeys towards the shore to commence the construction work. Picture: James Bass

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
11:06 AM

A barge carrying thousands of tonnes of granite from Norway has moored off the Norfolk coast as a multi-million pound project to build new sea defences at Hopton gets under way.

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Work on a massive project being led by Bourne Leisure to build granite groynes in the North Sea that will prevent further erosion of the beach at Hopton-on-Sea.
A barge carrying thousands of tonnes of granite from Norway stationed in the North Sea, with a vessel carrying smaller quantities of the stone making journeys towards the shore to commence the construction work.

Picture: James BassWork on a massive project being led by Bourne Leisure to build granite groynes in the North Sea that will prevent further erosion of the beach at Hopton-on-Sea. A barge carrying thousands of tonnes of granite from Norway stationed in the North Sea, with a vessel carrying smaller quantities of the stone making journeys towards the shore to commence the construction work. Picture: James Bass

The barge, laden with 26,000 tonnes of rock, is stationed in the North Sea a mile off Hopton and, this morning, a smaller vessel began the task of unloading the rock close to shore.

Bourne Leisure, which owns Hopton Holiday Park, is paying about £7m for the work, which should protect Hopton cliffs and beach for years to come.

The plans to install granite groynes along the beach were put forward by Bourne after swathes of the fragile cliff were washed away in recent storms. Their bid – described as “giving hope” to residents in the coastal community – was given a green light by planning chiefs at Great Yarmouth Borough Council last month.

The new defences will replace the rotting wooden groynes that are “no longer fit for purpose”. They come after Bourne Leisure spent £3m on emergency defence work over the winter, placing 12,000 tonnes of rock at the foot of the cliffs to shore them up and using 20,000 tonnes of earth to repair the cliff top.

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