Landowner who lost homes to the sea plans to replace them with 'collapsible' houses

  • ITV Anglia's Tanya Mercer hears how the innovative design could provide a way of building homes in vulnerable areas

A landowner in Suffolk has applied for planning permission for four collapsible homes to be built on the coast.

Anne Jones has already lost acres of land and three properties to coastal erosion at Easton Bavants.

She believes that moveable housing is the key to preventing losing more homes to the sea.

"My grandfather bought the land here about 100 years ago, and since then we've lost 200 acres.

"So two thirds of the land he bought and five properties. "We are planning to replace properties that we've lost to the coastal erosion and replace them further inland with some demountable buildings which are made of timber and a modular structure so they can be in the future should the erosion become worse and they need to be moved.

"They can be taken down and moved onto onto safe land elsewhere."

The planning application describes how the homes have been "designed for ease of assembly, and also ease of disassembly and reuse" and that the properties can be "easily taken apart, demounted and moved as nature dictates".

Homes at risk on the Suffolk coast Credit: ITV News Anglia

Anne and the architects involved in the project believe the innovative design could provide a way of building homes in vulnerable areas.

Wilf Meynell, the architect said: "The planning authorities are going to have to get behind more sustainable solutions for building near coastal areas.

"We can't continue to build brick and block houses which ultimately are going to end up in landfill or in the sea. This has to be the future."

Eastern Bavents was once a thriving village with a church, but after years of erosion there are now just a handful of properties left.

Artist impression of the new homes Credit: Studio Bark

Coastal erosion is accelerating, and with tidal surges and more storms becoming more common, experts argue it is critical to find new solutions.

Anne said: "To see houses that have stood there for hundreds of years to be razed to rubble is very tough.

"And, of course, we let those properties to local people so they had to lose their homes as well.

"You can't insure against that loss. We receive no compensation. So this is why we're trying to do something positive and are hopeful that our local authority will support us in that endeavour."

Anne hopes if plans go ahead the models could be used up and down our coastline.

The planning application is being considered by East Suffolk Council.

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