Sea surge damage repair bill in north Norfolk is £3m says report

North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick amid the storm damage clean up at Walcott. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick amid the storm damage clean up at Walcott. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
10:24 AM

The bill for repairing sea surge damage in North Norfolk is around £3m.

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But the district council is hoping to get around half back through insurers, and another slice through government help.

The figures are outlined in a dossier being sent to MPs, central government and other interested stakeholders to spell out the devastating impact of the storm in the area - and highlight the vulnerability of coastal communities.

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It also stresses the importance of sound emergency planning and emphasises the resilience of the communities affected.

Initial estimates listed in the report put the total cost to the council at around £3m with potentially £1.6m recoverable from insurers.

The council will apply to the central government Bellwin Scheme for reimbursement, but a council spokes said it was understood that repairing essential infrastructure such as sea defences, promenades and associated structures such as railings, lighting, paths, steps and ramps were not covered.

The council was therefore seeking central government support through whatever mechanism to help cover costs and provide future security.

Council leader Tom FitzPatrick says in the dossier introduction: “We estimate that the total cost of the storm surge to NNDC will be around £3m and we have already committed over £0.5m for which we had not planned for. This will have to be financed in the short term out of our reserves, but this will be insufficient to meet all of the uninsured costs and without extra funding this will leave the Council in a very difficult financial position.

“However, I am very pleased with the willingness of both the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Minister Brandon Lewis to engage in dialogue on this important issue.”

The report says the surge damaged 665m of council-managed sea defence, along with 3,000m of promenade and other seafront infrastructure, along with 100 Cromer sea-front chalets, and that during the recovery 40 tonnes of waste and damaged property was removed from Walcott and Bacton.

Most of the damage to council-owned property took place in Sheringham, East and West Runton, Cromer, Overstrand, Mundesley, Bacton and Walcott.

8 comments

  • we have it rammed down our throats everyday there is no money left and the people of Norfolk ,Suffolk ,kent and somerset have received nothing for their flood disaster. But today is a different day and clegg and Cameron have just borrowed hundreds of millions from the banks to bring over Syrian refugees to the uk How fair is that

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    milecross

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Keith S - what an amazingly short memory you have. It was Brown the clown who bought the banks. It was also under his regime that the Environment Agency got so out of control. Maybe you could get a job and contribute or are you nice and cosy in your Victory house?

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    jeffbridges769

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • The true problem is the Environment Agency which have failed to protect the coasts and rivers. This is further highlighted by the events on the Somerset levels where, since they have been in charge of the rivers, they have deliberately not dredged rivers but have found money for coastal schemes to protect wildlife but not people and tried to encourage farmers to flood fields. There needs to be a change in their remit or the funding and responsibility taken away from them. Oh, by the way Keith, it was Gordon Brown who caused the problems and spent all our taxes on bailing out RBS and HBOS, problems he created in the first place.

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    andy

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Sorry, but David and Nick have spent all the coffers on buying high street banks and fixing the Queen's houses. You'll have to pay for it yourselves.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • GYBC is still wasting money clearing the beach of debris when they should be sending the bill to the insurers of the properties which have caused the mess. I think the EA and LAs have done fairly OK with the sea defences-they are not responsible for those who are living all year round in caravans which would have been moved back from the walls in the past . I agree with Andy about the agenda of the EA and dredging-they have some rum ideas about it, and seem to apply the principles that work on natural water courses to artificial drainage courses-a quick look at the Welney web site will reveal some grumbles about the Old Bedford. I am told that EA bureaucrats take no notice of the expertise of efficient internal drainage boards and would dearly love to expand their empire by taking over their responsibilities. On the Somerset Levels the drainage boards seem to be saying that the EA has been at the bidding of wildlife groups , no surprise there, dont forget the fuss there was when Acle marshes were drained a bit more sharply. Farmers cant afford high drainage rates for an efficient system if the environmental lobby does not allow them to use it half the time. Dont forget the EA got itself nice and cosy under Labour and the omissions and strategies are old ones.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Regrettably, I predicted that the government would be either unwilling or unprepared to finance most of the cost of repairs to our damaged sea defences. I also distinctly remember being told that I was being negative about the situation and that the Bellwin Scheme would enable the government to recompense local councils for the costs incurred. It is no surprise then, to learn that this is not the case and that the Bellwin Scheme was never intended to recompense councils for the type of damage that has been wrought by the storm surge. Of course, when a typhoon hit the Philippines over £50 million was immediately donated to disaster relief, likewise, over £600 million has been spent on humanitarian relief to Syria with additional amounts being considered for the 'welcoming' of Syrian refugees. However, when it comes to the UK our government has been conspicuous for its inaction and lack of interest in the plight of those affected by flooding and by storm damage. Of course politicians have more to gain on the world stage when it comes to being seen to have done something for foreigners rather than at home where only a few thousand voters may remember their inaction come election time!

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    Bad Form

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • If the sea defences had been maintained in the past, then they would not have failed so spectacularly.

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    Lord Elf

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Not fair too say money not being spent on sheringham and Cromer sea defences Lord Elf.Many millions were spent on sheringham and in particular there east and central promenade,which held up very well indeed to the recent storm surge,it was only some old parts on the west promenade which has seen new strengthening works taking place over the last several years that failed,and even these parts would have been renewed over the next few years.This winter Cromer is having it's promenade sea walls repaired and replaced,and this work was scheduled before any storm surge hit!!!Sheringham west promenade has a mandate of being fully repaired by easter.Well done to NNDC if this happens!!

    Report this comment

    beach cafe

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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