Dramatic pictures capture destruction of seafront homes condemned by Hemsby erosion

Dramatic drone pictures have captured the moment specialist diggers moved in to demolish seafront homes left uninhabitable by coastal erosion.

Five homes at Hemsby near Great Yarmouth are to be torn down in the next few days.

They have been left unsafe after recent storms washed away the road in front of the properties.

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 specialist digger is tearing the homes down and loading the debris into a truck on the beach. Credit: Terry Harris

Property owners had written goodbye messages on their homes before being forced to leave them for the last time.

Machinery has had to be used from the beach, because the road to the properties has fallen into the sea. Credit: Terry Harris

Great Yarmouth Borough Council said the demolition would be a complex task, taking up to four days because tides would restrict the hours that work could take place.

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

"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 in the coming years.''

The first house was quickly reduced to rubble by the heavy machinery Credit: Terry Harris

The Environment Agency has spent £460m on flood and coastal defence schemes in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex since 2013 but admits not everywhere can be protected from the sea.

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