Sand martins stop cliffside house demolition

File photo of sand martins nesting in the cliffs at Happisburgh. 

File photo of sand martins nesting in the cliffs at Happisburgh. - Credit: Daniel James

The demolition of a house precariously close to Happisburgh's gradually crumbling cliffs has had to be halted - due to nesting sand martins. 

A colony of the burrowing birds has dug into the cliff-face, and following advice, North Norfolk District Council has put the brakes on plans to demolish the building closest to the cliffs.

The house is close to the beach access ramp - which has recently been reopened - at the end of Beach Road. 

Angie Fitch-Tillett, the council's portfolio holder for coast, said the house would be demolished "in due course". 

She said: "We have had to suspend all work until the sand martins have flown, which we expect to be later on in the autumn."

Sand martins tend to migrate to Africa during the colder months here. 

At this week's full council meeting, councillor Vincent FitzPatrick asked what had been done to make the site safe.

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Ms Fitch-Tillett said it was "completely fenced in" and there were regular site inspections.