Relief as policy change will see Hopton coastline protected until 2105

Hopton beach.
Picture: James Bass

Hopton beach. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2015

There is relief for property owners in a coastal village as the first hurdle in ensuring its sea defences are maintained was passed.

Hopton beach where Police and Border Force officers are investigating £50m of cocaine found. Pictur

Hopton beach where Police and Border Force officers are investigating £50m of cocaine found. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A policy change in the Shoreline Management Plan gives Hopton residents and businesses long term security adopting a 'hold the line approach'.

Under previous plans there would have been a 'managed realignment' plan adopted in 2025.

Also known as managed retreat, it allows for an area not previously exposed to flooding by the sea to become flooded by removing coastal protection, whereas the new hold the line approach until 2105 will maintain the defences until they reach the end of their serviceable life.

The policy review came as the previous strategy was superseded by tidal events, natural processes and community concerns.

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MORE: Hopton beach; Now you see it, now you don't?Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Environment Committee voted on Wednesday night to approve the change.

Chairman of Hopton Coastal Action Group Brian Hardisty said it meant their sea defences would be maintained into the future, adding: 'It has taken ten years to get this far but at last we are nearly there.'

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Mr Hardisty said it meant that a red line on a map mortgage lenders use to determine prices would be removed, meaning house prices would remain steady rather than falling dramatically, like in some erosion threatened villages.

The proposals now need to be approved by the full borough council, the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, and neighbouring local authorities.

Sand levels have dropped by up to 10ft in five years.

In 2013 adverse weather conditions and a storm surge in that December resulted in significant erosion and the failure of the old defences ahead of their predicted lifespan.

Then Haven Holiday Park owners, Bourne Leisure, spent £8m importing 54,000 tonnes of Norwegian granite to build nine rock groynes on the beach.

Potters Resort then spent £3m to protect the shoreline on their clifftop frontage.

Environment committee chairman Carl Smith said: 'The proposed change in policy would allow the private coast defences at Hopton to be kept in situ during the medium and long term, and would also enable further potential private investment in coast protection to come forward.'

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