Brancaster golf club recovering after £1.5m of flooding damage

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club Secretary Ian Symington standing where a building once stood before the December storms.
Royal West Norfolk Golf Club Secretary Ian Symington standing where a building once stood before the December storms.
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Tidal flooding left £1.2million damage in its wake at Brancaster’s Royal West Norfolk Golf Club – and a damaged bank means fears remain.

The club lost £600,000 of machinery, including three tractors and six or seven ride-on mowers, in December’s flood as well as suffering damage to fences and banks and three weeks where the course was waterlogged and out of use.

The outcome of a planning application to replace a workshop and store that was destroyed, which is one of the final pieces in repairing the damage, is awaited.

Ian Symington, club secretary, said: “We were very lucky that the main dune defending the golf course survived largely intact. A lot of sand got taken away but that is building up again now. If that dune had been breached the golf club’s days would have been limited.”

Whilst the dune was not destroyed, the bank that runs alongside the access road to the club and the beach car park was breached in five places.

The damage remains, making the footpath along the top difficult to use and leaving the road more vulnerable.

Brancaster Parish Council has called upon the Environment Agency to do repairs, but it is yet not clear if that will happen.

Noel Linge, Brancaster parish councillor, said: “With more than 100,000 people using that beach and car park each year, it is obviously an important part of West Norfolk tourism.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Last December, the combination of strong winds, large waves and high tides led to a record tidal surge along many parts of the coast.

“This had a large impact on areas along the North Norfolk coast that needs thorough evaluation before any decisions are made.

“We have already employed Halcrow as consultants to review the situation in Brancaster, Blakeney and Salthouse.

“We are expecting their report later this month. The report and discussions with our partners and those affected will help us to consider our options for the North Norfolk coast.”

The National Trust has reported that toilet repairs at Brancaster are going well and on track to be completed by Easter.

The trust’s Brancaster Activity Centre was also badly affected, but drying equipment has now gone and schools will be hosted in March through to June in partnership with Deepdale Backpackers.