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Norfolk village ranks worst hit by coastal erosion in UK

PUBLISHED: 16:06 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 06 November 2019

An aerial view of Happisburgh taken last year. Pic: Mike Page

An aerial view of Happisburgh taken last year. Pic: Mike Page

A new insight into coastal erosion shows Happisburgh is predicted to see the most land lost to the sea in the UK over the next 20 years.

The new report outlines Happisburgh as the worst hit by erosion in the UK. Pic: confused.comThe new report outlines Happisburgh as the worst hit by erosion in the UK. Pic: confused.com

The predicted loss of 318ft of land - equivelant to the length of two football pitches - comes as already around 35 homes have been lost to the elements in this area. And the forecast states this will increase to 492ft over 50 years and 656ft over a century.

The new report which uses data from the Environment Agency rates Happisburgh as the worst hit area nationwide followed by Kessingland in Suffolk. There, 230ft of land is predicted to be lost in 20 years but 574ft in 50 years and 1,148ft in a century.

To see an interactive map showing the erosion click here

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The report by Confused.com which also looks at the cost of insuring homes in the worst affected areas comes as the Environmental Agency has calculated 7,000 homes, worth more than £1bn, will fall into the sea within this century. The report also states that 520,000 properties are in areas with coastal flooding risk, and without further action this figure could treble to 1.5m by the 2080s.

The report states: 'The east coast of England is being hit the hardest by the elements. According to the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) - a shocking 31% of coastline in the south of England is also eroding, leaving coastal areas such as Norfolk, Suffolk, East Sussex and West Sussex at risk.

'Whereas, the north-west of England is eroding at a much lower rate. Only 18.5% of their coastline is affected by erosion. However, the same cannot be said for the north-east where 27% of the coastal length is stricken.'

On Happisburgh, 'Already around 35 homes have been lost to land erosion in this area. With 10,377 houses in the NR12 postcode, which includes Happisburgh and Waxham, it's of huge concern what damage could be caused over the next 20 years.' A shoreline management plan has previously argued protecting areas like Happisburgh is not sustainable. Meanwhile, at Scratby sea defences which were put in years ago to last 25 years had to be repaired. Hemsby was the worst affected place on the east coast last year from the 'Beast from the East' when 13 homes from an area of the seafront called The Marrams were lost to the severe weather.

An aerial view of Happisburgh's coastline in 2010. Photo: Mike PageAn aerial view of Happisburgh's coastline in 2010. Photo: Mike Page

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