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Council supports homeowners and assesses damage after high tides cause further erosion of dunes at Hemsby

Following high spring tides and strong easterly winds last night and this morning, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is supporting residents and assessing damage caused by the further erosion of dunes in Hemsby.

A sign welcoming people to Hemsby

Several homes in The Marrams have been left in a precarious condition and a number of households have been offered alternative accommodation as a precaution.

Hemsby Community Centre has been opened as Reception Centre by the council so those people affected can be offered support and any necessary help in relation to accommodation requirements.

Meanwhile, the council's housing and community teams continue to visit homes in the area to offer advice and support. Storage space for people who need somewhere to put belongings has been organised and assistance in moving items is being provided.

Jane Beck, Great Yarmouth Borough Council's head of property and asset management, said: ''The safety and security of our residents remains our number one priority. We are now assessing the damage caused by the high spring tides over the last 24 hours.

''Everyone who needed to move has been and we will be providing ongoing support while our teams work to assess the situation fully and safely.

''We continue to work with our partners, including the police, to ensure any evacuations that are necessary are carried out. We are particularly grateful to the Hemsby Lifeboat team who have been in the area helping residents as well.''

Road closures in the immediate area of the Marrams have been put in place for public safety and the police have advised people to avoid the area.

With the potential for debris from damaged homes sliding on to the beach, planning and building control experts from Great Yarmouth Borough Council are now surveying properties to decide if and how quickly any might need to be demolished.

A spokesperson for Great Yarmouth Borough Council's coastal management team, Coastal Partnership East said: ''While we are focusing today on resident and public safety, we are also working hard to assess the options for re-instating beach and lifeboat access and using our emergency powers to provide a short-term rock option to help protect the access road and secure utilities.''

Coastal Partnership East said the beach remains dangerous to the public due to high winds and waves and has asked the public to stay away from the site, where the police are maintaining a cordon.

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.

 "We continue to provide advice and guidance to the local authorities who lead on planning and managing coastal erosion. We are also working with coast protection authority partners to release emergency funds for work at Hemsby if they are required."

Meanwhile, the council continues to engage with the landowner of the Marrams, Geoffrey Watling (Norwich) Ltd, in seeking its support in addressing the erosion challenges in Hemsby

Last modified on 12 February 2024

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