Family says goodbye to cliff-top home as two more bungalows to be demolished at Hemsby

More homes are set to be demolished in Hemsby due to coastal erosion.
Sarah Goward, 52, and her son John Goward, 23, say goodbye their home. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Two more homes built on sand dunes in a coastal community being devastated by erosion will be demolished.

High tides and strong winds over the weekend put cliff-top bungalows in Hemsby, Norfolk, at risk of collapsing onto the beach.

Three homes in the Marrams have already been taken down and two more in a precarious position will be removed.

Sarah Goward, 52, and her son John Goward, 23, today said goodbye to the home they have rented for the last five years.

They said they were "devastated" and "shocked" after losing more than 10 metres of their garden in a matter of days.

They are staying in temporary accommodation and being supported by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Homes on the cliff edge in Hemsby have been demolished.

Work is also ongoing to drag the home of another resident, Lance Martin, back from the edge so it can be saved for a while longer.

Around 2,000 tonnes of rock is due to start arriving in Hemsby as an emergency measure to protect the dunes and people's homes.

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: ‘’Our contractors are today beginning to bring the rock by road from surplus granite stockpiled in Hopton.

‘’We are optimistic that the rock will then start to be positioned on the beach by the weekend to help protect homes and the access road.

‘’We must urge the public to stay away from the area while contractors and other experts carry out this vital work.

"Road closures are in place in the area and the beach remains closed.’’

Work is underway to try and drag a bungalow back from the edge so it can be saved.

The work is being managed by the council’s coastal management team, Coastal Partnership East (CPE), and it is hoped it will be completed within the next two weeks.

A spokesperson for CPE said: ‘’To try to mitigate the issue of coastal erosion, we are working on this short-term, interim option for Hemsby of granite rock in front of dunes that are eroding, providing urgent support to the main access road for a number of properties.

‘’This work will be similar to that completed to the frontage at Pakefield in December 2022. Funding secured for the urgent works will be beneficial to the longer-term aim of constructing a more significant rock berm as material can be re-used and re-purposed in any future works.’’

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.’’

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