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Plans to protect Hunstanton cliffs for the next 100 years set out

A coastal management plan has been drawn up for Hunstanton which will cover the cliffs and sea defences for the next 100 years.

Among the more immediate priorities for officials are replacing 30 per cent of groynes for the first four years of the plan as well as resurfacing the promenade.

From around 2070, rock armour (large boulders) has also been earmarked for the base of the cliff.

Hunstanton Cliffs
Hunstanton Cliffs

Dave Robson, environment health manager for West Norfolk Council, told an environment and community panel this week that this was a more expensive process in terms of upfront costs, but maintenance costs are low in the long-term.

The rock armour acts as a defence from wave action at the base of the cliffs as large boulders are interlocked together.

Other options considered were geotubes, timber revetment, relocation and beach recharge.

Meanwhile, a section of the seawall stretching south from the Oasis Leisure Centre will need short-term work in 10- to 15-years’ time, while the section north of the centre has a 35-year residual life.

Councillors were told that the annual cost of replacing the groynes would be £100,000 over the course of four years. This would be a 50-50 split between West Norfolk Council and the annual levy.

Mr Robson said cliff monitoring would cost £12,000 per annum with the same ratio of funding between the council and levy payers, while the promenade resurfacing is expected to cost £530,000.

“The funding pot is finite,” Mr Robson said. “If something else comes up then we may have to put the money there but we are where we are.

“The priority for me is the groynes work. Promenade resurfacing may be within the next year but we need the green light from all the traders so it may take longer.”

The plan has been prepared by AECOM consultants after input from various stakeholders including West Norfolk Council, Norfolk County Council, the Environment Agency, RSPB, town councils and the National Farmers Union.

The committee agreed the plan be forwarded to cabinet.

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