In pictures: Going... going... gone! Happisburgh steps are removed

An operation to remove the redundant beach steps from Happisburgh beach was completed yesterday (Friday).

The series of photo, taken by Happisburgh resident Stephen Burke, shows lifting gear in place on the clifftop removing the steps piece by piece.

It follows the decision from North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) cabinet to remove the steps - left marooned by erosion - then store them until cliff retreat rates are stabilised.

Brian Farrow, NNDC principal coast protection engineer, said the work was completed yesterday 'to plan'.

'It is quite a complicated process and what we will do now is leave the steps in the field over the weekend, cordoned off, and then move them to their new home next week after a deep clean.'

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The cost of removing the steps is estimated to cost around �10,000.

Glenn Berry, chairman of Happisburgh Parish Council, said the steps would be stored by a local farmer on the outskirts of the village, near Walcott.

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Mr Farrow added that there they would be protected.

North Norfolk District Council's decision to remove the steps has sparked local controversy with more than 1,600 people signing a petition calling for them to be reinstated as a better beach link than the replacement, a sand ramp.

The council argues that the current rate of coastal erosion, which caused the steps to become unusable, would make re-instatement unviable.

At the request of Happisburgh Parish Council, the steps will be stored locally in case that situation changes.

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