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Race against time before car park falls into sea

PUBLISHED: 16:46 05 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:27 06 October 2020

An aerial view of Happisburgh taken in 2018. Pic: Mike Page

An aerial view of Happisburgh taken in 2018. Pic: Mike Page

Archant

People living in a north Norfolk village are being encouraged to attend council meetings to discuss moving a car park before it is lost to the sea.

North Norfolk District Council has warned Happisburgh Parish Council the entrance to its Beach Road car park may become inaccessible before next summer because of coastal erosion.

Now, with a looming deadline to act and roll back the car park before its entrance is lost, the parish council is asking as many people as possible to attend council meetings in order to be fully involved in the relocation process.

Jo Beardshaw, clerk to Happisburgh Parish Council, said the council had always known the parking spot, which was opened in 2012, would need moving because of coastal erosion and had saved more than £80,000 in preparation for the project.

She said: “Ever since the car park was built we have always known this was going to happen because erosion waits for no man, we really need to get on with it.”

Ms Beardshaw said the process of moving the car park entrance in order to make it as future proof as possible would involve planning permission, highways discussions and the purchase of land.

She said the council wanted to consult people in the village.

“Now is the time for local people to start being involved, it’s a group decision: we all need to work out a plan together. We want parishioners involved, we want them to come to meetings and think of alternatives and ways we can roll back the car park.

“It’s really important, the last thing we want is to start work and find out some of our parishioners don’t know,” she said.

In 2019, Happisburgh was predicted to be the village which would be worst hit by coastal erosion in the UK over the next 20 years. The report, compiled by Confused.com, which used data from the Environment Agency, predicted a loss of 318ft of land before 2040.

The next Happisburgh Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday, October 12 via Zoom.

Details of the agenda, including how to join the meeting either by telephone or video call, will be posted on the parish council website.


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