Families living on eroding coastal cliff line are forced to abandon their homes and move further inland – as experts warn £600m worth of properties will fall into the sea by 2100
- Victims of coastal erosion say they receive nothing for homes being demolished
- A family on the coast built a bungalow from wood, so it could be easily removed
Families living on the edge of crumbling cliffs are being forced to abandon their homes and some households have been forced to live in wooden shacks further inland.
Experts predict that £600million worth of property will crumble into the sea by the end of the century, and homeowners along the Holderness Coast will be among the first casualties.
Residents living by the coast in East Yorkshire say they are not being given a penny for their old houses or to build new ones.
They are also being charged double council tax – paying a charge on their old home, even after it has been reduced to a shell, until it is demolished.
Victims of the coastal erosion say they receive nothing for the home being demolished – and only a pittance in compensation for any white goods that they cannot take with them.
Families living on the edge of crumbling cliffs on the east coast near Holderness are being forced to abandon their homes and even live in wooden shacks further inland
Experts predict that £600million worth of property will crumble into the sea by the end of the century
Residents living by the coast in East Yorkshire say they are not being given a penny for their old houses or to build new ones (Pictured: Maureen Dunn, who lives in an at risk property)
Residents on the notoriously unstable Holderness Coast are eligible for a council scheme called ‘Rollback’ to relocate their properties further inland from the eroding coastline.
READ MORE: Map reveals nearly 200,000 coastal homes that could be underwater by the 2050s
But those who have applied for Rollback around the erosion hotspot village of Tunstall say the process has so many pitfalls it can turn into a planning battle that lasts years.
The value of damages to homes over the next 20 years was estimated at £584million using prices from property website Rightmove, according to the research by climate action group One Home.
Derek Dunn, 62, experienced the problems first hand when the three-bedroom brick bungalow he and has late wife had occupied for 15 years disappeared into the sea three years ago.
He wanted to build a £100k replacement bungalow on a meadow his late father had purchased further away from the cliffs.
He said: ‘A lot of people think the council or Government helps you when something like this happens but they do not.
‘I even had to pay two lots of council tax even though I showed an official around my old house and he was it was derelict. There were not even any flood boards.
‘It was beyond a joke. All the council offered me was a council house on a housing estate in a two miles away. I have lived here since I was a kid so why would I want to live anywhere else?’
Because the meadow was agricultural land, it took six years to get planning permission. The new bungalow also had to be built from wood, so it could be easily removed.
Derek Dunn said built a new bungalow further inland specfically out of wood, so it could be easily removed
Maureen said she thought she live in her house for the rest of her life, but the coast has been eroding so rapidly she has to move
He lives just a stone’s throw from his mother Maureen Dunn, 81, whose house is now riddled with damp due to structural problems caused by the erosion.
Eventually, the family plan to build another wooden bungalow next so her son’s for Maureen, who lost her husband three years ago, to move into.
She said: ‘I have no idea how long I have got here. It depends on the weather and coastal erosion. We lost yards of land when the Beast from the East came.
‘We had a whole field between us and the sea when we first moved here. We thought we would be here all our lives.
‘I don’t want to move from here. I have been here too long – 52 years. When we bought the meadow never thought we would be building on it.
‘The house is all damp inside but I cannot do anything about the cracks because it would just be a waste of money.
‘My late husband tried to get groynes installed to pin the sand back and hold the cliff up but nothing was done about it.
‘My son and daughter have already moved out after losing their houses and I am the next one to go. They are gong to start building my bungalow in July.’
Another Holderness resident, Annette Richards has also used the Rollback scheme to build a bungalow – paid for entirely out of her wages as a district nurse.
Victims of the coastal erosion say they receive nothing for the home being demolished – and only a pittance in compensation for any white goods that they cannot take with the
Keith Naylor, a motor engineer, lives by a road which once ran along the cliffs but has fallen into the sea
She said: ‘This is my home, not a holiday home. I was four when my parents moved up here anyway.
‘I could quite easily move into a council house on an estate and pay rent but why would I want to do that when my old house was paid for.’
She snapped up her house for £40k and lived there 14 years. She is also paying double council tax and her old house is attached to her mother’s house – so it cannot be demolished until she moves out.
She has considered getting in a tenant to cover the council tax and other bills until both her and her mother’s home can be demolished.
Keith Naylor, a motor engineer, lives by a road which once ran along the cliffs but has fallen into the sea. The road has now been sealed off, even to 999 vehicles.
He said he and his neighbours felt ‘abandoned’ by the authorities.
He said: ‘I don’t think my house will go in my lifetime but I own some land nearby for Rollback.
‘Back in the fifties a farmer could cottage for his workers without planning permission but they changed the planning laws and now you have to go though all the rigmarole.
‘There have been three houses demolished since I have here. You don’t get any help from anyone. There is no compensation and you cannot claim anything on your insurance.
Kevin said: ‘I don’t think my house will go in my lifetime but I own some land nearby for Rollback’
‘They have put sea defences at Hornsea and Withernsea now but it is too late.
‘I have been self employed since I was 22 and I am 71 now. I have paid all my dues and taxes so it really is beyond relief.
‘The erosion is coming and it will keep coming. I have lived here over 20 years, permanently for the last five. It is a nice place to live. I want to spend the rest of my days here.
‘But you can see the state of the cliff at the moment. I does get worse year by year and nothing gets done about it regarding sea defences here.
‘Three of my neighbours have had to had their homes demolished and a fourth one is teetering on the edge.’
East Yorkshire Council said: ‘We assess each application for rollback on its merits, using engineers’ erosion monitoring data to work out the level of risk to the existing property and the suitability of the proposed rollback plot.’
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