North Norfolk at the 'frontline' of climate change, councillor says

Cllr Angie Fitch-Tillett and Cromer Pier

Councillor Angie Fitch-Tillett (inset) is calling on North Norfolk District Council to declare urgent action is needed to protect the ocean in the face of climate change. - Credit: Ian Burt/Mark Bullimore

A councillor has said urgent action is needed to protect the sea off north Norfolk where residents are at the "frontline" of climate change.

Angie Fitch-Tillett is calling on North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to declare a need for marine recovery by pledging to consider the ocean in all strategic decisions, plans and budgets.

In a proposal, called 'Motion for the Ocean', the portfolio holder for coast says: "In north Norfolk, like the rest of the planet, we are witnessing the ocean crisis first-hand.

Chris Taylor Photo Cromer Storm Corrie North Norfolk Video

Powerful waves hit Cromer seafront during Storm Corrie in late January. - Credit: Chris Taylor Photo

"Our residents are at the frontline of climate change and are being disproportionately impacted relative to inland communities," she adds.

She refers to sea level rise and more storms accelerating coastal erosion and increasing the risk of flooding.

She says the ocean is at the heart of the region's heritage and economy.

"From the maritime and marine expertise around the Ports of Wells and Blakeney and all the commercial users of our beaches, to the millions of visitors who come to North Norfolk to experience the sight, sound and feel of the ocean," she said.

"The ocean can play a vital role in our economic recovery and we must strive to develop a sustainable and equitable blue economy that delivers both ocean recovery and local prosperity."

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Ms Fitch-Tillett also hopes more people get the opportunity to enjoy the ocean first-hand.

She said: "At present, not everyone has the opportunity or means to access and enjoy the ocean. Even within North Norfolk, there are people of all ages who have never experienced the joy of our ocean."

She is asking the council to ensure all pupils are given the chance to experience the sea first-hand before leaving primary school.

Her proposal will be aired at a full council meeting on Wednesday (February 9).

Aftermath of Storm Corrie at Cromer sea front

Pictures taken in the aftermath of Storm Corrie on Sunday, January 30, show the amount of stones and debris brought up on the promenade by high winds and powerful waves - Credit: Allen Leach

On the last weekend of January, Storm Corrie storm brought 60mph winds and huge waves to the north Norfolk coast, leaving stones and debris along Cromer seafront.

The storm also caused dramatic beach erosion at Winterton and Hemsby, which led to some parts of the beach cordoned off. 

On Monday morning (February 7), eleven flood alerts and warnings were issued across Norfolk.