Hemsby updates

Updates about the situation at Hemsby

Tuesday, April 10

Council to demolish one more clifftop property which has become dangerous at Hemsby

GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council will undertake work this week to safely demolish one more property at Hemsby, which is now in a dangerous condition due to further settlement of the cliffs following recent storms and heavy rainfall.

Following last month's storm, building control surveyors and Environmental Services officers have continued to monitor eight properties to the east of The Marrams road which were at significant risk of falling onto the beach.

As a result of natural processes, number 197 The Marrams is now at imminent risk of falling onto the beach and has therefore become a dangerous structure requiring demolition in order to preserve public safety.

Work will be undertaken by contractor, Anglian Demolition and Asbestos Ltd, which last month demolished five other clifftop properties at Hemsby which became dangerous immediately following the storm.

The contractor plans to set up on Friday afternoon and start demolition on Saturday morning, completing demolition the same day, subject to weather conditions. However, work might need to be undertaken earlier if the conditions of the property or cliff deteriorate further in the interim.

Cllr Carl Smith, the deputy council leader, said: "Firstly I would like to again express our sympathies for all the affected residents and property owners, including the owner of this property. Number 197 is now in a dangerous condition, overhanging the cliff by about a metre in places, and needs to be demolished to ensure public safety, which is the top priority.

"This is still a changing situation. We continue to update and advise the owners of all affected properties, and to monitor the situation closely with respect to the remaining properties at risk, whose owners are well aware of the sad potential of demolition at relatively short notice should there be any significant further loss of cliff material. 

"The public are reminded that the area to the east of The Marrams road and the beach below the cliffs remain dangerous. There will be contractors and their vehicles on the beach during low tide, and people should therefore keep a safe distance. People are also reminded that the land to the east of The Marrams, where the eight remaining homes are and five now-demolished properties were, is private. People should therefore not enter this land to get a closer view of the edge of the cliffs."

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Tuesday, April 3

Community to get involved with next stage of work in managing coastline at Hemsby and Winterton

THE COMMUNITY is invited to a drop-in session at Hemsby, on Thursday, April 12, from 2pm to 7pm, to participate in the next important stage of work in managing the dynamic coastline in the area.

Over a number of years, Great Yarmouth Borough Council has worked closely with the Hemsby community and agencies, providing expert advice and guidance to assist the community-led trial defence scheme.

As the next stage of that journey, the borough council is prioritising Hemsby as the initial phase of a study about how best to manage the coastline between Winterton-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth.

This initial phase, funded through the Environment Agency, focuses on Hemsby and Winterton, with the community helping to identify and consider a range of options for Hemsby and also consider the risks associated with coastal change at Winterton.

People are invited to take part by attending a drop-in session at Hemsby Village Hall, in Waters Lane, where they will be able to share first-hand local information about how the coastline has changed in the past and their aspirations for the future.

This community information, together with new site inspections of the cliffs, dunes and defences, will be used by coastal management experts to help consider a range of possible approaches, as well as to support conversations with the Government, other funders and agencies.

Each approach will then be assessed, looking at whether it would be suitable and effective, and the possible impacts on future change at Hemsby and along this coastline. The existing trial defence scheme at Hemsby will be considered as one option, and the learning so far from this will play an important part in the study.

The study will then look at the possible costs of the options that are considered viable for Hemsby, and a draft report will be ready in around two months, which will be shared with the community as part of a public consultation. Management options for the Winterton frontage will be considered as a later phase.

Cllr Carl Smith, deputy council leader, said: "We have seen some heart-breaking scenes at Hemsby and our sympathies and support remain with the affected residents. It is clear that the sea is Hemsby's greatest asset but also its greatest risk. 

"The coastline here is very dynamic and the challenges are not solely financial and technical. Any intervention for the cliffs at Hemsby will have impacts for the beach and wider coastline, upon which communities rely, so identifying a pragmatic approach that balances needs and satisfies communities and agencies like Natural England is vital.

"The community-led trial scheme we've been supporting has started Hemsby on that important journey, and provided valuable evidence to support the next stage of work, which has been accelerated following recent events. 

"Managing Britain's coastline is a national issue and we hope that lots of people will attend the drop-in to share their information and views, which will support the development of options and our continued conversations with Government departments, local MP, landowner and other partners."

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Wednesday, March 28 - 10am

Council and tourism business leaders remind public that Hemsby is open to visitors this Easter

HEMSBY is open to visitors this Easter - that is the message from Great Yarmouth Borough Council and tourism business leaders ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

Following the events at The Marrams, the borough council is continuing to work with partners to support and advise the affected residents and property owners, in addition to undertaking recovery works.

As part of supporting the community, the borough council and Greater Yarmouth Tourism & Business Improvement Area Ltd (GYTABIA) are now emphasising that tourism businesses at the resort will still be open as usual in time for the Easter holidays.

Cllr Carl Smith, the deputy council leader, said: "Over the last few days, there have been some heart-breaking images in the media of people's homes being demolished. Our sympathies are with those affected, and the council continues to support them and to undertake recovery work in the area.

"The community has pulled together fantastically well. While Hemsby is still in recovery, it is important during this difficult time that people are not deterred from visiting over the all-important Easter break, otherwise that community will suffer further. So please make sure you support Hemsby this Easter."

Gareth Brown, chairman of GYTABIA, said: "Hemsby is one of the most popular village resorts in Norfolk and relies on its visitors, especially over Easter. Despite the events of recent days, Hemsby's tourism businesses will be very much open for Easter and we look forward to welcoming visitors to get the 2018 season underway."

Those who go onto the beach are asked to consider their safety and to stay away from the area to the east of The Marrams road and the beach below the cliffs, as well as being aware of tide times.

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Monday, March 26 - 10.15am

Work starts to transport sand to Hemsby to reinstate sloping access ramp

WORK has started this morning to deliver tonnes of sand to Hemsby so that the sloping access ramp to the beach can be reinstated.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has transported the first of up to 100 lorry loads of sand to Hemsby from Great Yarmouth's North Beach, just north of the Britannia Pier, where there is a surplus of sand available.

This sand will be used to help fill the gap between the beach and the lifeboat shed so that the sloping ramp cut into the beach can be reinstated. This ramp will again enable direct access to the beach, primarily for the launch of the lifeboat.

The first four lorry-loads will be transported today. At the moment, the sand is being stockpiled at the car park at Hemsby and this will accelerate in the coming days once this area has been vacated by demolition crews who are clearing debris from the five dangerous clifftop properties demolished since Friday.

The sand will be placed onto Hemsby beach itself as soon as logistically possible and subject to weather conditions. The overall operation will take contractors more than a week and will see up to 160 cubic metres of sand transported, with each cubic metre weighing between 1 and 1.2 tonnes (depending on wetness). This equates to up to 100 lorry loads of sand.

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Sunday, March 25 - 11.45am

Five dangerous properties at Hemsby are all demolished and beach cleared of debris

The five dangerous properties which were at imminent risk of falling onto the beach at Hemsby are now all demolished and debris from them cleared from the beach. After the initial one being demolished on Friday, two were removed yesterday and the other two this morning.

Building Control surveyors and Environmental Services officers are constantly reviewing the situation with respect to the remaining eight properties to the east of The Marrams which are at significant risk of being lost through the further settlement of the cliffs following the recent storm. The Council has been speaking to, and will continue to speak with, the homeowners.

Residents and visitors are reminded that the area to the east of The Marrams road and the beach below the cliffs, remain dangerous. People should therefore keep a safe distance. Anyone on the beach at low tide should ensure that they are aware of the tide times and therefore give themselves plenty of time to move off the beach.

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Friday, March 23 - 4.15pm

Public reminded to consider their safety as demolition work starts to clear five dangerous properties at Hemsby

WORK is underway to safely demolish and dispose of the five dangerous properties at imminent risk of falling onto the beach at Hemsby, with the operation anticipated to be completed by Easter.

Following assessments this morning, two demolition crews working for Great Yarmouth Borough Council have successfully demolished number 206, after using machinery working in tandem to simultaneously push and pull it back from the precarious cliff edge.

From tomorrow, the contractor, Anglian Demolition and Asbestos Ltd, will start to work through the other four properties in turn. Crews will aim to use the same push-pull technique, although it is anticipated that some properties might break up in the process. Any debris which lands on the beach will be removed and disposed of.

The team will work every day, including weekends, until the work is completed. They will have to work around the high tide, so will be working onsite from as early as 5.30am every day, stopping for the high tides and re-starting during the low tides. 

The five properties under demolition are numbers 191, 192, 194, 201 and 206 The Marrams. The cost of the demolition will be discussed with insurance companies and there is a national DEFRA funding scheme for emergency demolition and clearance of properties at risk which the council will be putting a claim into.

Building Control surveyors and Environmental Services officers from Great Yarmouth Borough Council are constantly reviewing the situation with respect to the remaining eight properties to the east of The Marrams which are at significant risk of being lost through the further settlement of the cliffs following the recent storm. The Council has been speaking to, and will continue to speak with, the homeowners, to discuss the way forward.

Cllr Carl Smith, the deputy council leader, said: "The way the community has come together during this difficult time is inspirational and it is important to emphasise, in support of that community, that the tourism businesses in Hemsby will still be open as usual in time for the Easter holidays.  

"Since the devastating weather at the weekend, the council has worked closely with partners to support the affected residents and wider community. It remains a top council priority to demolish and dispose of the dangerous properties before the important Easter holidays.

"While the intention is to keep as much debris on the cliff-top as possible for safe removal and disposal, this is a somewhat delicate demolition operation involving heavy machinery and damaged properties perched on a soft cliff that is still stabilising to its natural gradient, so it is inevitable that further debris will fall onto the beach.

"Please always act sensibly and consider your safety if you are in the area during demolition. The area to the east of The Marrams road and the beach below the cliffs remain dangerous. There are contractors and their vehicles on the beach during low tide, and people should therefore keep a safe distance. Anyone on the beach at low tide should ensure that they are aware of the tide times and therefore give themselves plenty of time to move off the beach."

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Friday, March 23 - 11am

Great Yarmouth Borough Council soon to start demolition of five dangerous properties at Hemsby, as contractor is on site

GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council has contracted with a demolition company, Anglian Demolition and Asbestos Ltd, to safely demolish the five dangerous properties which are at imminent risk of falling onto the beach at Hemsby.

The contractor is on site today and will start work once the necessary assessments have been carried out (including over the weekend), starting with number 206 The Marrams. It is anticipated that demolition will be finished before the Easter weekend, subject to weather conditions.

The five properties to be demolished are numbers 191, 192, 194 201 and 206 The Marrams; these homeowners were informed earlier this week. The cost of the demolition will be discussed with insurance companies and there is a national DEFRA funding scheme for emergency demolition and clearance of properties at risk which the council will be putting a claim into.

Building Control surveyors and Environmental Services officers from Great Yarmouth Borough Council are constantly reviewing the situation with respect to the remaining eight properties to the east of The Marrams which are at significant risk of being lost through the further settlement of the cliffs following the recent storm. The Council has been speaking to, and will continue to speak with, the homeowners, to discuss the way forward.

On Monday, sand will be transported from North Beach, Great Yarmouth where there is surplus of sand available, to Hemsby. This sand will be used to help fill the gap between the beach and the lifeboat shed so that the sloping ramp cut into the beach can be sustained.

This ramp will reinstate direct access to the beach so the lifeboat can launch and for access for clean-up crews to remove any debris which has already fallen onto the beach or which may land on the beach once the demolition company starts work, and, once these works are complete, for public access.

Residents and visitors are reminded that the area to the east of The Marrams road and the beach below the cliffs, remain dangerous. There are likely to be contractors and their vehicles on the beach at various times during the demolition process, and people should therefore keep a safe distance. Anyone on the beach at low tide should ensure that they are aware of the tide times and therefore give themselves plenty of time to move off the beach.

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Wednesday, March 21 - 5pm

Great Yarmouth Borough Council agrees removal of dangerous chalets in Hemsby

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is continuing to actively monitor the situation at Hemsby, with Environmental Services Officers, Building Control Surveyors and Housing Options managers visiting the site regularly, and liaising with residents, Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service, the Environment Agency and other bodies, and the landowner, The Watling Trust.

Of the 13 properties which were evacuated by the police on Saturday, there are five properties which are at imminent risk of falling onto the beach, some of which have already lost parts of their infrastructure. Great Yarmouth Borough Council is arranging for a demolition contractor to come and clear these sites as soon as practical, but this will take some days to arrange and to complete. The Council's Housing Options team is working closely with the five households whose homes are currently at most risk.

There are eight further properties which are at very significant risk of being lost through the continuing movement of the sand and cliffs further to the storm at the weekend and subsequent high tides. Homeowners are in discussion with their insurers and borough council Officers to agree the best way forward.

Cllr Carl Smith, Deputy Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "Demolition of any properties will take place as carefully as possible, with the intention of trying to keep as much debris on top of the cliffs as feasible, so that it can be safely removed and disposed of. It is inevitable that some material will fall onto the beach, either before or during the demolition process. Any debris which lands on the beach will be removed as soon as it is safe to do so; however, the cliff edge and beach below are very dangerous due to the risk of further falls.

"Local residents are reminded that the properties to the east side and beach beneath the Marrams remain a dangerous site, and whilst the weather has now improved, we ask them to stay away from this area.

Currently there is no direct access to the beach at Hemsby. However, it has been agreed that the slope in front of the lifeboat station will be reinstated as soon as possible. This will allow access to the beach for clean-up crews to remove debris and the World War II defences which the storm has exposed.

Cllr Barry Coleman, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee said: "Tourism businesses in Hemsby will open for business as usual in time for the Easter holidays next week. Whilst the beach will be unsafe at high tide, at low tide there is sufficient space for day trippers and tourists to use the beach safely. Hemsby is one of our most important village resorts in the borough of Great Yarmouth, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the area and getting the 2018 season off to a strong start."  

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Monday, March 19 - 5pm

Great Yarmouth Borough Council warns of further risk in Hemsby and works to ensure welfare and safety of residents

Environmental Services Officers, Housing Options Managers and Building Control Surveyors from Great Yarmouth Borough Council have been in Hemsby all weekend, working together with the Parish Council, County Council, Hemsby Inshore Rescue and the emergency services to ensure local residents safety.

13 properties from The Marrams in Hemsby have been evacuated over the weekend, due to the risk that they might fall into the sea, as strong winds and high tides battered the fragile Hemsby cliff area. A rest centre was set up at the Hemsby Village Hall.

The Leader of the Borough Council, the Deputy Leader and local elected Members have been on site throughout the weekend supporting residents. The Council's Chief Executive officer, Sheila Oxtoby, visited the village this morning and council officers are visiting residents who have been evacuated to make sure they are kept up to date with the changing situation and discuss emergency housing options so that suitable accommodation can be found for those who are unable to re-enter their properties.

Coastal Protection and Resilience Officers have also been on site today, further assessing the damage together with Building Control Surveyors and Environmental Services Officers who are monitoring the area. The police are also still at the scene. Council officers are in discussion with local land and beach owners, The Watling Trust, to ensure safety at the site.

Jan Davies, Head of Resilience for Norfolk County Council said:  "Further high tides and strong winds are forecast for at least the next 48 hours, and the risk of properties sliding down the cliffs remains very high."

Cllr Graham Plant, Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council said:

"This has been a frightening weekend for the residents of Hemsby, who have pulled together once again to help their friends and neighbours to evacuate their properties.

We have tried and tested plans in place for emergencies such as these, which means people can be evacuated quickly and we can make sure that there is food and shelter for those who need it. Huge thanks must also go to local people and local businesses who have offered food, accommodation, removal services and safe havens for those who have had to leave their homes.

At this time, we ask that everyone, other than the emergency services and council officers monitoring the site, stay away from The Marrams, both beachside and land side. The area is extremely dangerous, and the conditions are changing every hour as we continue to have strong winds and high tides.

The Council would like to thank and commend all partners and agencies, especially the Hemsby Inshore Rescue Team. who have provided exceptional support during this challenging time."

 

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