Hemsby residents write goodbye messages ahead of more clifftop home demolitions

Hemsby residents are making their "last stand", as Rob Setchell reports.

Property owners have written goodbye messages ahead of more homes being demolished on a fragile stretch of coastline.

Land under the houses on The Marrams in Hemsby, Norfolk has been badly affected by coastal erosion over the past decade.

Storms in November battered the cliff face again and saw a 100 metre section of road fall onto the beach below, leaving homes and several vehicles stranded.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council, with the permission of the owners, has ordered the demolition of five homes after they were found to be structurally unsafe.

A 100 metre stretch of road at The Marrams, Hemsby fell onto the beach after more cliff erosion in November 2023. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Kevin Jordan is disabled and suffered a head injury while trying to pack up his belongings on Thursday night.

As his neighbours rallied around to help him, he said: “Look at all these kind people who've come today. I'm just so humbled.

"This is the place I thought I was going to be taken out in a box. I'm not the tearful kind. I've never been that way inclined but I could almost cry."

Heavy machinery will be used to pull down five unsafe clifftop properties in Hemsby, Norfolk Credit: ITV News Anglia

Due to the recent loss of the access road, the demolition work, which will begin over the weekend, will be carried out from the beach below - effectively pulling the properties down to the sand and removing the debris afterwards.

Meanwhile, one Hemsby resident, Lance Martin, remains defiant.

Lance Martin's living room now looks into the sea Credit: ITV Anglia

Having already dragged his clifftop home back twice from the brink, he stills hope for rock defences which might buy him a little more time.

Mr Martin said: "This is the last stand basically. I know I might be clutching at straws and hoping beyond hope that doing the little I can do that I could stay here for another couple of years.

"Maybe within that couple of years something drastic changes within the Government agencies and we get the funding and the rock berm that we so richly deserve down here."

The Environment Agency have spent £460m on flood and coastal defence schemes in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex since 2013.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know