Norfolk beach at erosion hotspot closed over risk to homes

Hembsy Gap was closed off due to coastal erosion

Daniel Hurd said Hemsby Lifeboat’s crew received some verbal abuse when it closed off the beach to the public

A beach has been closed off because of significant erosion and the risk that homes could fall into the sea.

The Hemsby Lifeboat crew in Norfolk said it was worried that up to two properties in The Marrams could begin falling from the dunes.

A high tide of 11ft (3.3m) – about a metre above the average for Hemsby – is expected at 22:48 GMT on Saturday.

Homes fell from the cliffs in 2018 and last year the lifeboat crew appealed for more sea defence materials.

Erosion at Hemsby in Norfolk

The lifeboat crew said the 6ft drop (1.8m) at Hemsby Gap meant it could not launch its boat

Daniel Hurd, the coxswain at Hemsby Lifeboat, said a woman in one of the properties was leaving and emptying her home, but added the second household had decided to stay and monitor the situation.

He said the rear of one of the two bungalows was a foot (0.3m) from the cliff edge.

“I would be getting my valuables together if I lived in one of those properties because personally I wouldn’t want to be in there knowing what this sea can do,” Mr Hurd said.

“It’s devastating for us – we put so much time into our efforts here and it’s heartbreaking for us every time we get something like this.”

Mr Hurd said his crew – which is independent of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) – could not launch its lifeboat because erosion had caused a 6ft drop (1.8m) on the beach.

He said his team received some verbal abuse from the public when it decided to close the beach at about lunchtime on Saturday.

A property at risk of falling into the sea

Hemsby Lifeboat said one of the properties, and a telegraph pole, was at risk of falling from the cliff

Houses sit on the cliff edge on The Marrams in Hemsby, Norfolk, in 2018

Several bungalows fell from the clifftop in The Marrams in 2018

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