Hemsby teetering cliff-top homes awaiting demolition

Hemsby teetering cliff-top homes awaiting demolition
Hemsby teetering cliff-top homes awaiting demolition
Image caption Homes were left overhanging the cliffs at Hemsby after another half a metre of dunes was washed away

Demolition workers have been sent to assess seven cliff-top chalets on the verge of toppling into the sea after Monday's storms.

The bungalows in The Marrams, Hemsby, Norfolk, were left uninhabitable when cliffs below were washed away in March.

Some have now been left hanging over the cliff edge after another half metre was eroded by high tides.

Demolition was due to start on Tuesday, but Great Yarmouth Borough Council said a risk assessment was required first.

The council said seven wooden chalets would be demolished due to safety concerns and "as a result of the further loss of cliff material last night".

Image caption Around 16ft (5m) of dunes were pounded away by high tides and heavy rain on Sunday and Monday

A spokesman said: "This morning, the demolition contractor will be undertaking a risk assessment... to plan a safe approach to demolition."

He added an update on when the demolition would start would be issued "once the timescales... are determined".

Image caption Lance Martin said he was "devastated" that his home would be knocked down after his hopes to save it were dashed

Former serviceman Lance Martin, who was forced to leave his chalet two months ago, said he would watch it being knocked down despite his hopes to save it.

"The idea to drag it forward is now a moot point - it's too dangerous to work on, unfortunately," he said.

"It is devastating, but I am OK and all my belongings are out - it is now a matter of saying goodbye."

At the scene

Andrew Turner, BBC Radio Norfolk

On Monday all the houses were still grounded on sand but now there is a plain wood-clad building where its entire veranda, plus its extension out the back, is overhanging.

A little blue house - which so far has been unaffected by the erosion - is now right on the edge.

The back end of Lance Martin's house is now overhanging and one next door has lost its walls and there are personal possessions strewn along the beach.

It's unbelievable what has happened in the last 24 hours.

On Monday night a rescue centre was set up for residents living in 30 homes near the condemned cliff-top chalets.

However, they refused to go - after around 16ft (5m) of dunes were pounded away by high tides and heavy rain in 24 hours.

Residents were also advised to leave their vehicles in a car park after concerns about the privately owned main road through The Marrams.

It is the sole vehicular access for the seven bungalows at risk, plus the 30 chalets immediately behind the road.

Image caption Residents of 30 chalets immediately behind the road along The Marrams were advised to leave their cars in a nearby car park overnight on Monday

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