Five homes hit by erosion at Hemsby are set to be demolished

Today's scene at Hemsby.Picture: Nick Butcher

Today's scene at Hemsby.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant

Arrangements are being made to demolish five of the homes that are hanging over the edge of the cliffs at Hemsby.

Homes on The Marrams in Hemsby are on the verge of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion.Pictu

Homes on The Marrams in Hemsby are on the verge of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Of the 13 properties on the Marrams which were evacuated by the police on Saturday, there are five properties which are at imminent risk of falling onto the beach, some of which have already lost parts of their infrastructure.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is arranging for a demolition contractor to come and clear these sites as soon as practical, but the council says this will take some days to arrange and to complete.

The council's housing options team is working closely with the five households whose homes are currently at most risk.

There are eight further properties which are at very significant risk of being lost through the continuing movement of the sand and cliffs further to the storm at the weekend and subsequent high tides.

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Homeowners are in discussion with their insurers and borough council officers to agree the best way forward.

Carl Smith, deputy leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: 'Demolition of any properties will take place as carefully as possible, with the intention of trying to keep as much debris on top of the cliffs as feasible, so that it can be safely removed and disposed of.

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'It is inevitable that some material will fall onto the beach, either before or during the demolition process.

'Any debris which lands on the beach will be removed as soon as it is safe to do so; however, the cliff edge and beach below are very dangerous due to the risk of further falls.

'Local residents are reminded that the properties to the east side and beach beneath the Marrams remain a dangerous site, and whilst the weather has now improved, we ask them to stay away from this area.'

Currently there is no direct access to the beach at Hemsby. However, it has been agreed that the slope in front of the lifeboat station will be reinstated as soon as possible. This will allow access to the beach for clean-up crews to remove debris and the World War II defences which the storm has exposed.

Barry Coleman, chairman of the council's economic development committee, said: 'Tourism businesses in Hemsby will open for business as usual in time for the Easter holidays next week.

'Whilst the beach will be unsafe at high tide, at low tide there is sufficient space for day trippers and tourists to use the beach safely.

'Hemsby is one of our most important village resorts in the borough of Great Yarmouth, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the area and getting the 2018 season off to a strong start.'

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