Happisburgh erosion victim faces nail-biting eviction deadline drama

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 who lost her home to coastal erosion is facing a nail-biting eviction deadline drama.

Bryony Nierop-Reading has been given until January 7 to quit the caravan where she has been living since her nearby cliff-edge Happisburgh bungalow had to be demolished following storm surge damage three years ago.

But, as part of a complicated planning deal, the 71-year-old is not expecting to receive the cash to enable her to move out until the end of January, and says she faces homelessness if she has to leave earlier.

The money will depend on whether her planning application to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) is approved this week.

As an owner whose home was lost to coastal erosion, Mrs Nierop-Reading can make use of NNDC's EN 12 policy which allows her to seek approval for a replacement property on certain sites where planning permission would not normally be granted.

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The scheme helps owners recover some of the value of their doomed homes by being able to cash in on the greatly-increased worth of a site with planning permission.

Mrs Nierop-Reading has struck a deal with a couple hoping to convert a barn and stable in Happisburgh for residential use.

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She is seeking permission for the conversion using her EN 12 entitlement and said, if granted, she would receive £37,500 from the couple about six weeks from the date of planning approval.

This Thursday's NNDC development committee has been recommended to approve the application, but only if Mrs Nierop-Reading meets strict conditions about the site of her demolished bungalow.

She is prepared to transfer the bungalow land to NNDC as part of the approval conditions.

Mrs Nierop-Reading was originally told by NNDC to leave her caravan home by July 23 last year. She lost an appeal but the date was extended to December 10 2016. NNDC is giving her a further extension, to January 7, but Mrs Nierop-Reading says she needs time to receive the EN 12 money and use part of it to buy a second-hand motor home which she will travel and live in while she explores her options.

She added: 'It's extremely stressful. I'm utterly devastated and upset at the thought of becoming imminently homeless.'

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