Summer sea defence work ‘without doubt saved Hopton from the worst ravages of this once in 60 years storm surge’

Hopton beach on December 6. Photo: Nick Harvey/Save Hopton Beach on Facebook

Hopton beach on December 6. Photo: Nick Harvey/Save Hopton Beach on Facebook - Credit: Archant

Thousands of pounds worth of rock defences at Hopton have 'without doubt' saved the holiday park from Thursday's storm surge, according to site bosses.

Four caravans at the Hopton Holiday Village were moved away from the cliff edge as a precaution ahead of the storm

Coastal engineers and contractors have been to the site between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft to assess the situation, and concluded it would have been a lot worse without the defences laid down by park owners Bourne Leisure in recent weeks.

'The storm surge on the evening of the 5th and early hours of the 6th have caused damage to the cliffs at Hopton Holiday Village,' a spokesman said.

'Coastal engineers and contractors have assessed the damage and at this stage we see this as a set back to our continuing emergency works, and nothing more serious.

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'About 10m of cliff has been lost at the base in some areas, and, as a precaution we have moved four caravans away from the edge of the cliff.

'Work will now continue to 'backfill' areas of cliff loss and the placement of our rock stockpile will focus on those areas that were damaged and are at most risk in the future should we experience more bad weather.

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'The areas at Shorefield and Horizons, which were rebuilt in the spring of this year under emergency powers have been particularly successful in withstanding major storm damage.

'The £3m investment into the emergency works, which are ongoing, has without doubt saved Hopton from the worst ravages of this one in 60 year storm surge, and as a result we do not expect to lose any caravan bases.

'We will continue to monitor the situation through our engineers and contractors who are now based on site.'

Caravan owners with concerns are urged to call the park for advice.

As previously reported, engineers completed a £950,000 shore-up at Hopton Holiday Village in June, using 7,000 tonnes of rock shipped in from Norway.

But severe gales at the tail end of October saw a tidal surge wash straight over the revetments and cut into the sandy cliff face and workers had to use the park's 2,000 tonne rock stockpile in a bid to halt the damage, while a further 7,000 tonnes of granite was shipped in from Norway.

The eight-week project - to protect 210m of damaged cliff face – cost Bourne Leisure £900,000, bringing the total cost of coastal erosion defence work this winter alone to £3m.

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