Letter: How should we best tackle coastal erosion?

Houses destoryed by erosion in Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Houses destoryed by erosion in Hemsby. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

'Where next?' the EDP asks (also North Norfolk News, March 29) as recent coastal erosion claims a number of cliff top homes at Hemsby.

The priority is without doubt to ensure that the victim residents who have lost their homes are given alternative accommodation and adequate compensation quickly.

In particular I feel for one unfortunate individual, interviewed on television, who was told just six months ago his now condemned property was good for another decade!

I wish I could share the optimism of local MP, Brandon Lewis, and his talk of a 'scheme' (no details) hatched between the Environment Agency and the council, which could work, although more time would be needed to put it to the test to see if it works — not very helpful. Remember, Hemsby suffered a similar fate less than five years ago, in the great tidal surge of December 2013.

The stark reality is a reminder of the future plight of other Norfolk villages vulnerable to coastal erosion. It is a tough call and I would urge the implementation of the Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) — Defra's strategy for flood and coastal defences for Norfolk and north Suffolk to act wisely with future contingency plans and putting resources to maximum effect. I endorse comment from Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, who says more should be done to prevent coastal erosion and its victims, with government leading the charge with the possible creation of a 'solidarity fund' to help those who lose their homes to the sea.

Charles Thirtle, Beeston Common, Sheringham

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