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Here the houses balance on the edge of the abyss: – I don’t want to move

Here the houses balance on the edge of the abyss: – I don’t want to move

Coastal erosion: Tidal waves and high winds have eroded sandy cliffs at Hemsby in Norfolk.

On the seashore in Norfolk, many houses are on the verge of crumbling into the sea. The residents have now been evacuated.


In the British village of Hemsby on the east coast of England, many coastal homes are in danger of crumbling into the sea.

Some of the houses sit on top of a small sandy cliff on the beach, less than a meter from the edge.

Many residents were asked to leave their homes on Friday evening. On Saturday, three of the exposed homes will be demolished.

– I just cried

says Mary Whitty, a resident BBC She and her partner “brought what they could”.

– It was my house, I don’t want to move. She says it is very sad.

Shock and disapproval: Mary Whitty is visibly affected after leaving her seaside home at ‘The Marrams’ in Hemsby.

Whitey reportedly reacted with shock and disbelief when she was asked to evacuate.

– Today I just cried, it’s terrible.

The only road leading to homes in the area was also closed, and is expected to collapse.

Many of the outbuildings had already succumbed to the forces of nature on Friday evening. Then the Hemsby Independent Lifeboat rescue crew managed to rescue two chickens that were in one of these.

Refuse to leave the house

The mate on the rescue boat, Daniel Hurd, says the wind has now died down, and they are working to prevent further damage. He described the beach area as “a real mess”.

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– If you saw the sea now, you wouldn’t believe it, he adds woman.

Must be demolished: Many homes must now be demolished for safety reasons.

Furthermore, Heard says many residents are upset after leaving their properties and fully furnished homes.

– One of them refused to go, but we managed to convince him to take us to a hotel.

long standing problem

In the last years A number of properties in the small settlement have been abandoned due to coastal erosion eating away at the cliffs.

In 2018, seven more homes had to be demolished, and in 2013, a storm surge swept ten more homes into the sea, according to Watchman.

Huge losses: According to the Climate Action Group, nearly £600m worth of coastal homes could be lost at sea by 2100. File image of the area from 2018.

Last year, Great Yarmouth Council made a formal application for a gravel ridge along the coast to spread waves, but they are still awaiting approval and funding.

Next week, 19,000 tons of gravel will be transported to the area, which will protect the road leading to many homes as a temporary solution.

Hurd finds the situation “heartbreaking”, and believes the demolition of the homes could have been avoided.

– I think it’s completely ridiculous. This has been an emergency for years, and it took this weekend for them to see that putting a cascade of pebbles on the beach was an emergency, he told the BBC.

On the edge: A woman, only named Sue, told the BBC that she had been asked for planning permission to move her home away from the edge of the cliff, but there wasn’t enough time.