Council supports Hemsby community
Over the weekend Great Yarmouth Borough Council has been supporting members of the community whose homes are most at risk.
Working with the home-owner, they have ensured that they are safe and secure. This week Council officers are visiting members of the community who are potentially at risk from future weather events. Officers have been in contact with UK Power Network about the powerline post. The powerline is not live, but they have advised that the post needs urgently removing from the cliff edge.
Cllr Carl Smith, Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council said "Our thoughts are with the family who have been placed at risk because of this weekend's surge tide. My officers have worked hard to ensure that they are safe. I visited the lifeboat station this weekend to see the damage done to the access route here and what can be done to support them. I know that this surge tide has impacted upon other communities along the Norfolk and Suffolk coast. We are extremely vulnerable to coastal erosion along the East Coast and we are doing all that we can for the community and businesses Hemsby to find ways forward to reduce that risk".
A scheme for the protection of Hemsby has been developed. This is in the form of a rock berm. The permissions required to build such a scheme are almost complete and the work can be moved forward as soon as funding is found. However, funding for a scheme of this nature is challenging to obtain. The cost of the scheme is around £15m, with only around £2.5m available from Government Grant in Aid. Other funding will need to be found and Coastal Partnership East, the Councils' coastal management team, are working to explore all possible funding options but this is more challenging with inflation and the rising cost of materials.
Whilst sourcing funding for the wider scheme is challenging to secure, the Council know that additional support is needed for this community. The Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee have allocated £500k of local levy funding to move forward with some small-scale protection this year. The Council are contributing £235k but further funding is needed to provide a similar solution to the type of short-term protection recent put in place in Pakefield.
Cllr Paul Wells, Chair of the Environment Select Committee said "We are hopeful of securing a short-term solution to help protect the homes that remain most vulnerable and the extremely important access road. We have most of the funding but we need landowners and businesses to come forward to help us close that funding gap. To secure protection similar to Pakefield, which will make a significant difference in Hemsby, would need at least £1m. The recent weather further highlighted how important the short-term solution is for our community here. But it takes time to get something in place, we need to order the rock and transport it here. The earlier we can get this started the better".