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Housing plan for coastal site facing erosion threat

28 September, 2020 - 10:14
The site in Walcott proposed for new homes. Picture: Maurice Gray

The site in Walcott proposed for new homes. Picture: Maurice Gray

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Plans are being made to build a row of social-rent homes on a site which could be partially under water in 85 years.

A plan of the site in Walcott proposed for new homes. The pink area is an 'indicative coastal erosion zone for 2105, and the yellow area is the indicative coastal erosion zone for 2055. Picture: Supplied by Luke WarrenA plan of the site in Walcott proposed for new homes. The pink area is an 'indicative coastal erosion zone for 2105, and the yellow area is the indicative coastal erosion zone for 2055. Picture: Supplied by Luke Warren

Luke Warren, who runs London-based Warren Property Group, has submitted the plans for 16 social housing units on land off Ostend Road in Walcott.

According to a coastal erosion map submitted with the application, a corner of the site could fall away into the sea by the year 2105.

But Mr Warren said last year’s £19m sandscaping project, which saw 1.8m cubic metres of sand pumped onto the beach at Bacton and Walcott in an effort to slow erosion in the area - combined with future coastal defence measures - meant the site was safer than the map made it seem.

MORE: Multi-million pound sandscaping project saved homes from ‘very real flood risk’

He said: “The 100-year line is encroaching into it, but with the sandscaping in Bacton they’ve pushed back that 100-year line by another 25 years, and that’s not reflected in the current erosion lines.”

Mr Warren said he submitted the application after discussions with North Norfolk District Council about possible sites for a social housing development. He said another site to the west of Ostend Road/Ostend Gap was also considered, but it then decided to apply for the land on the east side of the road as it was between existing housing and would be less obtrusive.

Mr Warren said the homes would be built to a high-spec ‘Passivhaus’ design, meaning low energy costs for the occupants, who would rent their homes through a housing association. There would be four three-bedroom houses, eight two-bedroom houses and four one-bedroom flats.

The site also includes two larger homes, which would be sold on the open market.

Mr Warren said he understood not everyone in the village would support the plans because some neighbours had bought homes there on the understanding that land would not be built on.

He said he had tried to start consulting with nearby residents by making contact with Walcott Parish Council several months ago.

Martin Campbell, from the council, said they had been unable to act before an application had been lodged - and the documents had still not appeared on the NNDC planning portal.

He said: “There was some contact, but it doesn’t achieve anything until there’s something concrete to discuss. It’s purely speculative.”


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