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Community invited to consider findings of coastal management study at Hemsby

THE FINDINGS of a study, considering options for managing the coastline at Hemsby, will be presented to the community on Thursday, July 19 - ensuring well-informed conversations can now take place to try to identify a way forward.

In response to this year's events, Great Yarmouth Borough Council brought forward the high-level study, funded through the Environment Agency, which as its initial phase prioritised analysis of various potential options for Hemsby, setting out the pros and cons.  The study also considers the risks associated with coastal change at Winterton.

Independent experts, Jacobs, were asked by the council to undertake a high-level technical assessment of the complex issues faced, plus exploration of a wide range of possible engineering options for Hemsby, including estimated costs. Each approach has been considered at a high-level for deliverability, fundability and environmental acceptability.

These valuable findings enable the community, private landowner Geoffrey Watling (Norwich) Ltd, public bodies, local MP, Government departments, and other potential funders and supporters, to engage in well-informed discussions and explore which options can be taken forward.

The full study report, published today (Wednesday, July 11) on the council's website, will also be available for people to review at a special drop-in session to be held at Hemsby Village Hall, on Thursday, July 19, from 1.30pm to 8pm. A presentation of the findings by coastal engineers will take place at 2pm and 5pm.

Cllr Carl Smith, deputy council leader, said: "This technical study, which we've prioritised for Hemsby, is really useful because it highlights how Hemsby has got to where it has over the decades, and considers independently, for the benefit of everyone, a wide range of possible approaches, including assessing their potential deliverability.

"This valuable report makes clear that Hemsby is complex: there is no easy solution and all options entail pros and cons which must be considered carefully. For example, some potential interventions for Hemsby Cliffs would threaten the future of Hemsby Beach. Some options, we now know, would not be effective for Hemsby.

"All options are costly, some considerably so, and would require significant contributions from a range of partners, including a special Government contribution, because relatively limited funds would be available in the form of Flood Defence Grant in Aid through DEFRA under the current national funding rules. No option could be funded solely by a small district council.

"It is now for the community as a whole, as well as the private landowner Geoffrey Watling (Norwich) Ltd, public bodies, local MP, Government departments and other partners, to discuss these findings and explore which options can be taken forward."

Last modified on 05 November 2020

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