Walcott house dangerously close to the cliff edge after December tidal surge

A house on Seaview Crescent, Walcott, stands closer to the edge after the tidal surge eroded the cliff face. Pauline Porter, community resilience co-ordinator, pictured at the house.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY A house on Seaview Crescent, Walcott, stands closer to the edge after the tidal surge eroded the cliff face. Pauline Porter, community resilience co-ordinator, pictured at the house. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Monday, February 24, 2014
7:00 AM

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.

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A house on Seaview Crescent, Walcott, stands closer to the edge after the tidal surge eroded the cliff face.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYA house on Seaview Crescent, Walcott, stands closer to the edge after the tidal surge eroded the cliff face. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

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.

A house on Seaview Crescent, Walcott, stands closer to the edge after the tidal surge eroded the cliff face.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYA house on Seaview Crescent, Walcott, stands closer to the edge after the tidal surge eroded the cliff face. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

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.

Are you still feeling the effects of the floods? Email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk

5 comments

  • Exactly DT I am heartily sick of the way the EDP has reported all these events.No acknowledgement that it is common knowledge that some parts of our coast erode, no acknowledgement that some people have bought carelessly and reports treating old holiday homes built on non conventional construction as if they were proper houses.No objective questions about what people are doing occupying holiday homes and static caravans on beach side sites all year round. And no recognition that council tax payers are being asked to pick up the bill for the whimsy or penny pinching of others.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • My interest ended when I read the owner in question "lives" in Warwickshire. Sounds callous, but if you can afford a second home, then really you can afford for the second residence to fall off a cliff.

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    DT

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Walcott changed its name to Walhott as a result of global warming. Now appears to have changed its name back to Walcott.

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    richard ash

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Can the EDP reported honestly say that building was built as a permanent house and not as a holiday house? And it is still a holiday house. Let her insurance pay for it and if she cannot get insurance more fool her for buying a house on a soft sand cliff on an eroding coast. We cannot afford to nurse maid all the people who wanted a sea view and did not want to pay surveyors fees, nor can we afford to protect all of our coast. If permanent housing has been allowed there NNDC are to blame. But please-all this agonising on their behalf is misplaced.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • Quality journalism again EDP!! Where's Walhott?

    Report this comment

    Toxteth O'Grady

    Monday, February 24, 2014

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

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