But council warns damage along the coast will take weeks to repair.

Eastern Daily Press: North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick inspects the repairs to Cromer Pier. Picture: NNDCNorth Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick inspects the repairs to Cromer Pier. Picture: NNDC (Image: NNDC)

The storm-damaged promenade in Cromer has reopened to the public five days after being pummeled by the sea.

North Norfolk District Council confirmed it has been declared safe after being hammered with rocks which gouged holes out of its surface and saw beach huts destroyed last Friday.

However, with the massive mop-up operation continuing along the coast today, the local authority has warned it will take weeks before all the damage is repaired.

Council leader Tom FitzPatrick, who issued a public 'thank you' to communities affected for their resilience, said: 'The pre-surge work of warning, preparing and informing, which was carried out by a huge number of people, was an excellent example of careful advance planning and teamwork on the day.

'It demonstrated the best of public service, with many staff putting in long hours in difficult conditions to ensure the safety of residents in our coastal communities at a time of real challenge.

'Since then the work which has been carried out, again by a large cohort of organisations, has been impressive and should be a source of great pride to the district as a whole.'

And he added: 'I want to say a very heartfelt thank you to all those involved, your efforts have been enormous and there is a palpable sense of gratitude among those people I have spoken to on the ground.'

A resident of Salthouse, one of the worst areas affected, has complained that Cromer Pier, which had been sealed off during the storm amid safety fears, was reopened before the Coast Road, which connects the two communities was cleared.

A district council spokesperson said: 'With several communities affected to different levels of severity along the coastline, the project has been wide ranging and involved many organisations.

'Work is still ongoing and the latest news as of Wednesday is that Cromer promenade is fully open from east to west with public access along its entirety. Among various elements of today's efforts, clean up works have continued and a rope access team has been working under the pier to conduct repairs.

'There will be a need for repairs over the next few weeks at various locations along the coastline, including to missing handrails and access steps. Localised promenade closures will be in place when these works are undertaken.'