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Tidal surge bill rises to £330,000 for West Norfolk Council

Wetter winters may increase river pollution

Wetter winters may increase river pollution

A final estimate of the cost of December’s high tide and storm surge to West Norfolk Council has seen the figure spiral to around £330,000.

The council has prepared itself for repairs to Hunstanton’s promenade , including the replacement of street furniture, litter bins and the provision of new metal flood gates, to exceed £110,000. The work is planned for the next three to four months.

The figures are included in a report to the regeneration, environment and community panel, which meets on Wednesday.

It said: “The Government has launched a specific fund for local authorities called the Severe Weather Recovery Scheme with up to £3.5 million available to cover costs incurred by local authorities in supporting affected communities during the recovery phase and £3.5 million for highways and infrastructure costs.

“The borough council has submitted an application and is waiting for confirmation if any funds will be allocated.”

The Environment Agency has estimated the tide which hit much of the east coast and, in Lynn, peaked at a height of 6.17m, to have been a one in 1,000 year level for the town, the report said.

To date, the council is aware of 53 residential properties that were affected by the floods. Most of them were either second or holiday homes or caravans. Two applications for rehousing have been processed.

In addition, 28 businesses have reported being affected by flooding.

Central Government backed Business Rate and Council Tax relief schemes have been launched to help owners of affected properties.

A separate Department for Business scheme offers flood-affected small to medium sized businesses grants of up to £2,500. Only £10,000 has been allocated to West Norfolk , but the council is hopeful of securing more.

Grants of up to £5,000 will be available from April 1 to help home owners and businesses protect their properties from flooding.

Repairs to sea defences along the North Norfolk coast are ongoing, but a decision is still awaited from the Environment Agency on when or if repairs to the raised bank coastal footpath linking Brancaster to the beach will be completed.

The Private Road, at The Beach, Shepherds Port, Snettisham is still deemed unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles.

All but the first hide at Snettisham RSPB Nature Reserve are still classed as dangerous and will remain closed for some time, the report added.

Damage to Hunstanton Cliffs has been noted along with additional rock falls. A new cliff-top fence line was needed and the historic shelter had to be moved, at a total cost of £17,000..

Repairs to Oasis Leisure Centre are expected to cost £33,600. The centre suffered was flooded but has remained open and was fully operational within days.

The Sea Life Centre, in Hunstanton, was very badly hit and is expected to reopen until summer.

There have been calls to raise the splash wall height of the prom and consideration is being given to the cost and benefits.

A Precautionary Evacuation Notice was issued ahead of the floods to an area in Shepherd’s Port, Snettisham and South Hunstanton that included around 3,000 caravans.

A rest centre was set up at the community centre in Hunstanton where nine people sought shelter.

Car parking staff put out signs in South Quay, Lynn, to warn of flooding and 26 cars had to be removed from there.

Teams also went out to clean up streets and five sites were provided with skips to dump waste in. Normal fees for the disposal of bulky goods were waived.

Staffing costs for the emergency response and recovery phase are estimated at more than £50,000.

 

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