‘Anger and sadness’ as Happisburgh coastal erosion victim destroys clifftop home to meet eviction deadline

Bryony Nierop-Reading has had to demolish her clifftop home in Happisburgh to comply with a council

Bryony Nierop-Reading has had to demolish her clifftop home in Happisburgh to comply with a council eviction order. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A grandmother is tearing down her clifftop home after accepting defeat in a long running eviction battle.

Bryony Nierop-Reading has been forced to destroy the Happisburgh caravan she has lived in for more than three years.

It is the final twist in a drama which has been playing out since Mrs Nierop-Reading's Beach Road bungalow was lost to coastal erosion in December 2013 and she moved into a caravan on land she owns nearby.

She was told to quit the site by the council by February 18 2015, lost an appeal against the council order, but the appeal inspector extended the eviction deadline to December 10 2016. The council then extended the date further, to January 7 this year, and then to February 5.

Friends and supporters joined Mrs Nierop-Reading today to help demolish the caravan and meet the eviction deadline.

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'I am angry and deeply sad,' said Mrs Nierop-Reading. 'I lost my last home to the sea and am now losing another through a human decision, I think it is cruel.

'The support of others has strengthened me and helped me to cope in an extremely stressful situation.

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'We are smashing the caravan to pieces, the plastic is going in the skip, timber is going on the bonfire and the metal will be recycled.'

She added: 'It has been marvellous living here with the views of the sea on two sides and I am going to miss it very much indeed.'

The retired teacher will now take to the road with her two cats Socrates and Mischa in a mobile home she has bought and hopes to visit other areas impacted by coastal erosion.

A house in Witton Heath near North Walsham owned by Mrs Nierop-Reading has been lived in by her daughter and son-law for more than four years. This will now be sold so she can buy a new home in Happisburgh.

Mrs Nierop-Reading's friend Stephen Burke was helping her dismantle the caravan.

He said 'Bryony is a long standing friend and neighbour and these are the sort of things you should do to help.

'I have supported her in her battle with the council over a number of years and this is the latest phase. I hope to see her back in the village soon.'

The caravan is situated on land Mrs Nierop-Reading owns just yards from her former home.

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