Gorleston seafront steps saga drags on

Heavy rain and windy weather caused a wall to collapse in Gorleston at Beach Road.

Picture: James Bass Heavy rain and windy weather caused a wall to collapse in Gorleston at Beach Road. Picture: James Bass

Sunday, August 31, 2014
5:02 PM

The saga of Gorleston’s White Lion steps is “dragging on” more than two years after a schoolboy narrowly avoided injury when the structure collapsed.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

White Lion steps in Gorleston which collapsed two years ago nearly crushing a schoolboy.

Picture: James BassWhite Lion steps in Gorleston which collapsed two years ago nearly crushing a schoolboy. Picture: James Bass

A 12 year old boy Cliff Park High School pupil espaced injury when there was a “landslip” at the White Lion steps, a shortcut to the seafront, in April 2012. The route has been partially closed ever since, alhtough the steps can still be used by the public.

An initial investigation looked into whether a build up of water had caused the wall of a newly build house to collapse. Whatever the cause, tons of brick and soil cascaded down the steps aftee a spell of heavy rain. The mess was soon cleared up, but the repairs have never been carried out fully.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Norfolk County Council told the Mercury: “It is unfortunate that the matter is still unresolved.

“The county council is waiting to receive information contained in a number of reports which will form a basis of any recommendations and will allow us to move forward with legal proceedings.

“This is not a straightforward case and we are working towards a conclusion as quickly as we can. While the matter continues the steps can still be used safely by members of the public.”

Cllr Matthew Smith, who represents the Gorleston St Andrews ward at the county council, said he will be “keeping pressure” on the council’s highways department to get something done sooner rather than later.

He said: “There is a problem with the access which will allow them to finish the work, but the county council do seem quite reluctant to make that clear. It’s an issue that everyone wants resolved as quickly as possible and it’s dragging on, by the sounds of it, unnecessarily.

“I’m fairly critical of the highways department as it is and I will be keeping pressure on them to see the work completed.”

7 comments

  • To be fair, and although it took far too long to happen, they did reopen half of it by putting a screen down the middle, so at least pedestrian access was restored some time ago. I happened to drive past both ends when it happened as I used to take my 97 year old mother down to sit in the car by the beach each afternoon (until an accident put her in a nursing home recently). One thing that struck me was the depth and breadth of the debris field at the bottom - really glad I wasn't driving past! I was surprised to see it, but at the same time had thought many times when passing the top that I hoped whoever had specified the strength of it had allowed for the massive loading when the area became waterlogged, which was a frequent occurrence. Maybe they had not! On they day it happened, there had been an extremely heavy (monsoon quality) shower shortly before, and whilst sitting down at the Gorleston beach in the car we saw the most vivid, solid looking double rainbow of our lives! When it rained hard, a significant stream would start above the Cliff hotel and run around the next two corners into the newly levelled land by the wall that failed. It almost became a swimming pool, and must have (literally) weighed tons! Whatever's causing these reports to take 2 years or so, I can't help feeling all that weight had something to do with it...

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    PeteB

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • I agree Chris S. Who was the unqualified jobsworth who gave permission for the houses to be built ?. If this had happened on their precious Yarmouth seafront, it would have been cleared up by now, the builders would have been forced to repair them and they would be re-opened. What have you got to say about this then Wainwright ?.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

  • These steps have been there for countless years without a problem, then people started building houses either side, coincedence? I think not.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Chris S

    Monday, September 1, 2014

  • “The county council is waiting to receive information contained in a number of reports which will form a basis of any recommendations and will allow us to move forward with legal proceedings." What rubbish reporting. What reports, from whom, and when are they expected to be completed?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    theanchovy

    Monday, September 1, 2014

  • Sometime IDIOTICT and INCOMPETENCE is relevant in a problem..And after 2 years unresolved this appears to be another case of both ... The GY BIG Screens farce was another issue years ago... In this day an age someone owns it and legal right of way must be allowed to repair any public right of way... Seems there are some people are in the wrong jobs or doing the wrongs things...Which is becoming an issue far too many times.... or we would not be having all these problems...PASSING THE BUCK LOOKS TO BE THE GAME HERE.. and a few heads need to roll...Where money is concerned people go into hiding... NOT GOOD ENOUGH...I cannot see what is the problem, that is what insurance cover is for... and DO NOT TELL ME THERE IS NO INSURRANCE COVER...These People surely are not that stupid.. ..But I would not be surprised.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Lionel

    Sunday, August 31, 2014

  • I bet this would have been sorted sooner if it was used by vehicles. It seems to me that often pedestrians are regarded as second rate citizens in Norfolk. Hence the correspondence re footpaths across Norfolk.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Sunday, August 31, 2014

  • Anyone working in industry (particularly offshore) will know there are accepted and mandatory processes to follow when progressing a construction project to include at least survey, engineering, design, construction and clear authority, responsibility, traceability and approval of every stage. That two years after a child nearly lost his life as a result of a serious failure in one of more of survey, engineering, design or construction on this project we still don't know who is at fault and how to put it right is a shameful reflection on all parties involved and a fair measure of their collective incompetence. This should certainly flag up some concerns about other projects approved by our council.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    wallywalnut

    Sunday, August 31, 2014

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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 13°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT