Rock defences being built to slow coastal erosion after homes demolished

Rock defences are to be built at Hemsby in Norfolk in a bid to slow coastal erosion after three clifftop homes were demolished over the weekend.

Trucks have started to deliver granite to the resort, with almost 2,000 tonnes being brought in for what is described as a “short-term, interim option”.

It is hoped the rocks will help shield the sand dunes from waves which have been biting into them, with high spring tides this month taking their toll.

Coastal erosion
A house close to the cliff edge at Hemsby in Norfolk is demolished (Joe Giddens/ PA)

Great Yarmouth Borough Council said that two more homes were in a “precarious position” and “work is expected to begin on their demolition today (Wednesday) following detailed surveys”.

One further home was due to be moved further back from the shoreline if work could be completed before further erosion, the authority said.

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said on Wednesday that contractors were beginning to bring truckloads of rock from a stockpile at Hopton, around 14 miles south of Hemsby.

“We are optimistic that the rock will then start to be positioned on the beach by the weekend to help protect homes and the access road,” Mr Smith said.

“We must urge the public to stay away from the area while contractors and other experts carry out this vital work.

“Road closures are in place in the area and the beach remains closed.”

The work was being managed by the council’s coastal management team, Coastal Partnership East (CPE), and it was hoped it would be completed within the next two weeks.

Houses close to the cliff edge at Hemsby
Houses close to the cliff edge at Hemsby (Joe Giddens/PA)

A CPE spokesperson said that the rock could be reused later in “constructing a more significant rock berm”.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We understand how distressing the situation is for residents whose homes have been affected, and we are supporting the council to minimise impacts on the community.”

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