Four more coastal houses facing demolition as Hemsby residents warned not to stay at home overnight

ANGLIA 281123 aerial shot Hemsby
ITV News Anglia
Stormy weather at the weekend washed away an access road leading to seaside homes. Credit: ITV News Anglia
  • ITV News Anglia's David Whiteley spoke to campaigner Simon Measures, who lives in Hemsby, about the latest developments.

People living near the edge of one of the fastest eroding coasts in Europe have been warned not to stay in their homes overnight - as four more homes face demolition.

Letters have been sent to householders living in Hemsby on the Norfolk coast after storms at the weekend battered their stretch of coastline, destroying a road leading to their homes.

Thirty-five properties have been left stranded with no way of getting vehicles in or out and four homes are being inspected by surveyors to see if they are structurally unsafe and need to be demolished.

Simon Measures, Chairman of the Save Hemsby Coastline group, said: "We've gone from shock on Friday to alternating between real anger - about the fact that this could have been so easily prevented - back to sheer despair about what are we going to do, we've got to move out of an area we love, a community of people we love."

He said another it was feared another high tide might mean the end for four properties nearest to the edge of the dunes.

"We are literally on the front line now. In front of us used to be a large dune bank - we couldn't really see the sea when we moved in - that's now completely gone, you can see quite clearly through to the beach."

Residents are even being offered extra fire safety advice as there is no way emergency services can now reach their location.

People in the area told ITV News Anglia on Monday about the terrifying moment they saw the road collapse.

The road leading to 35 homes lies collapsed on the beach Credit: ITV News Anglia

An emergency meeting is being held to advise residents of what Great Yarmouth Borough Council described as "an extremely high risk of collapse".

Letters sent to people living nearest to the sea warn: "It is our view that for your own safety, your property should not be occupied, especially overnight as further cliff falls are now imminent."

The letter warns that people should remove septic tanks, oil tanks and gas canisters because of the risk of pollution to the beach should they fall into the sea.

The council said it recognised that it was an "extremely upsetting" time for people living in the area.

Homes in the dunes at Hemsby near Great Yarmouth Credit: ITV News Anglia

It said it was providing support in the shape of a public meeting and advice on getting government grants to help in the crisis.

The council has closed the access road in the Marrams to both pedestrians and vehicles and is warning of the risk of further collapses.

Community marshals have been visiting people to offer welfare support.

One house in the area is up for sale Credit: ITV News Anglia

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "The welfare of residents and safety of the public is our paramount responsibility.

"Our teams have been checking on people to see if they require assistance with shopping, medicines, pets etc. If anyone is vulnerable we will do all we can in terms of targeted interventions.

"And it is vital that people realise it is not safe to use the road, either on foot or by car."

People in the area have spoken of their anger that more money has not been provided to protect their coastline.

A banner that reads 'shame on you' in Hemsby. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A housing team is visiting the area as people come to terms with what the council called "the prospect of more homes being lost to the sea".

Senior council officers and members are also due to meet with Hemsby Parish Council and the Save Hemsby Coastline group to keep them abreast of developments.

Mr Smith added: "As a community we have to consider how we best adapt to the erosion in what is one of Europe's most dynamic stretches of coastline."

The council said it was a complex process because the road, the land, the homes, and services such as water and utilities were privately owned and it needed to work with all parties involved to work out the best solutions for people living there.

It said due to the problems the lack of access to properties would cause the emergency services, residents who chose to remain in their homes would be offered additional fire safety advice over the coming days.

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