Council prepares for demolition of properties in Hemsby
Following continued coastal erosion at Hemsby, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is preparing for the demolition of five homes on the cliff edge in the village.
Recent high tides and strong winds saw the loss of a stretch of the privately owned access road for a number of properties in The Marrams and, following detailed analysis by building surveyors, the decision has been taken - with the owners' permission - to demolish homes which have been left close to the eroded cliff edge of the dunes because they are not structurally sound and are unsafe.
For the past two weeks, council officers have been working closely with residents to offer support and housing options staff have been sourcing appropriate accommodation for those who need it.
A demolition company has been contracted to carry out the work, which is anticipated will begin this weekend. In what is a complex task, plant will be on the beach to carry out the demolitions because the loss of the access road means material will need to be taken off the beach via a tipper truck. Access in the area will be limited and members of the public are being urged to stay away from the beach in order for the work to continue safely. The access road also remains closed, as does a footpath in the area.
Demolition is expected to last at least four days because the tides mean work can only be carried out for a limited number of hours each day.
Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: ''While we have known for some considerable time that more properties were at risk from erosion, this remains an extremely difficult time for those people who are losing their homes. Our thoughts are with those affected and our staff have been working hard to provide support and welfare for those who need it.
''Unfortunately, continued erosion on this stretch of coastline is inevitable and we are working hard with our partners and other agencies to work out how we best adapt to the changing shape of our coast in the coming years.''
At the same time as the demolition, work will be taking place to create access via St Mary's Road to remove a small number of vehicles and a caravan which were left behind when part of the access road was lost.