March 12 2014 Latest news:
Monday, February 24, 2014
When Christine Blythe and her husband Chris bought their holiday home in Walcott 42 years ago, they knew it was the perfect place to spend summers with their young family.
Their bungalow in Seaview Crescent in Ostend Road was part of a close-knit community of 25 bungalows on the cliff top.
Third from the cliff-top, it provided perfect views and an idyllic adventure playground for their two small boys.
But now, their house is dangerously close to the edge of the cliff, and two other bungalows have already fallen victim to coastal erosion — one as a result of the 1953 flood.
The other was moved inland to prevent it falling into the sea.
And since the tidal surge on December 5, the cliff has been falling away at an ever-increasing rate.
Mrs Blythe lives in Warwickshire with her husband, an electrical engineer, and said in previous visits the erosion had not been as bad.
Neighbours have told her at least 6ft has crumbled away since the crashing waves of December 5.
The grandmother-of-three said: “The house would be worth nothing now unfortunately — it is not something I like to think about.
“Unless something happens and the council does something, we won’t be able to use it.”
While their two-bedroom property is a seaside retreat, for neighbour Bridget Fillett her cliff-top bungalow is her permanent home.
The 60-year-old grandmother, who lives there with her husband John, 71, said she is concerned how far the erosion will spread.
She said: “We wake up in the morning and wonder what else is going to be gone — there are lumps falling off everyday.
“We want protection and we’re not going to lie down and just be walked over.”
But Mandy Anderson, 60, of North Walsham, who also has a holiday bungalow in the crescent, said so far they have been told there is no money for defences.
Mrs Anderson, who regularly visits with her two children and four grandchildren, said: “We are saying please help us and do not forget Walcott.
“We are getting concerned, if we go then the coastline goes — my family cannot believe the devastation — it is heartbreaking.”
The community is hoping for help from the government’s Coastal Change Pathfinder fund to help adapt to the coastal erosion.
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