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GALLERY AND VIDEO: Favourite holiday resort of Hemsby devastated by coastal erosion

Save Hemsby Coastline wants the public’s support

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Thousands visit the North Norfolk coast each year and its popularity has never been greater – but for some who live there, the future is bleak as their homes been victims of coastal erosion. CambsNews photographer Terry Harris has witnessed at first hand the alarming distress of residents in recent years – and this weekend spent two days there watching as demolition got under way to remove five bungalows left teetering on the cliffs.

The area has suffered from the disappearing cliff, and many have been forced to leave their wooden homes overlooking the sea.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

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HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Sunday 10 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

The borough council of Great Yarmouth has kept watch over the village for many years and to stop homes falling into the sea have, reluctantly, concluded demolition to be the only response.

At the end of last month, the seaside resort saw power lines brought down and even cars left stranded part of the Marrams – a main access road – collapsed into the sea.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Sunday 10 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

Save Hemsby Coastline, a website set up to campaign for investment, says the situation today is “unbelievably sad and devastating.

“There was a solution, but nobody had the willpower to change the funding formulas that would have allowed us to have protection.”

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Sunday 10 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

It has launched a petition to attract Government support.

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Their campaign group says: “The people of Hemsby have been hit again by erosion to their beach. Again, homes have been lost and businesses impacted. The solution is known and costed. We need a rock berm for our whole beachfront, and we need it now.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Sunday 10 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

“We need central government to step in and take ownership of the problem. We need action now.”

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, previously 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.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

“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.”

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

HEMSBY, Norfolk: Devastating toll on coastal village as homes demolished. Saturday 09 December 2023. Picture by Terry Harris.

It says: “We now need everyone who loves Hemsby, whether you live here or holiday here, to make sure that our pressing need for a permanent rock-berm is not forgotten about, either by signing our online petition HERE  or signing the paper petitions which are in every shop in Hemsby and by joining us in our fundraising events.”

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