Fresh twist in grandmother’s Happisburgh clifftop eviction row

Happisburgh Beach Road resident, Bryony Nierop-Reading, pictured in her caravan near the site of her

Happisburgh Beach Road resident, Bryony Nierop-Reading, pictured in her caravan near the site of her demolished house. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A grandmother facing eviction from her clifftop Norfolk home has been given an extra three days' grace.

William Abë, North Norfolk District Council's combined enforcement team leader, had been due to turn up with contractors at Bryony Nierop-Reading's Happisburgh caravan home at 9am today, February 2, to move her out.

But, in an 11th-hour email, Mr Abë has agreed to Mrs Nierop-Reading's plea for a three-day extension, until Sunday February 5.

The latest move is a further twist in a drama which has been playing out since Mrs Nierop-Reading's Beach Road, Happisburgh 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.

Mrs Neirop-Reading, 71, asked for the latest extra time because she claimed a container for her belongings had been placed in a dangerous position and had to be moved, which meant she lost several packing days until it was re-positioned.

Now she says, forecast strong winds permitting, she would clear out of her caravan, demolish and burn it, meeting all the council's requirements and the Sunday deadline.

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And she will then take to the road in a mobile home she has bought.

Mrs Nierop-Reading claims she cannot move into a cottage she owns in Witton, near North Walsham, until her daughter and family have moved out, in March.

In an email to Mrs Nierop-Reading on Tuesday, January 31, Mr Abë tells her that he is prepared to 'postpone' the enforcement action: 'I am happy to take in good faith your commitment to fully comply with the terms of the enforcement notice by February 5.'

He adds: 'I will clearly need to be satisfied that you have been as good as your word and at some point next week, after February 5, I will visit your site to confirm your actions.'

Mrs Nierop-Reading said: 'I want the whole thing finished with and to walk away from it. I'm packing as fast as I possibly can.'

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