Sea surge damage repair bill in north Norfolk is £3m says report

North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick amid the storm damage clean up at Walcott. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick amid the storm damage clean up at Walcott. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
10:24 AM

The bill for repairing sea surge damage in North Norfolk is around £3m.

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But the district council is hoping to get around half back through insurers, and another slice through government help.

The figures are outlined in a dossier being sent to MPs, central government and other interested stakeholders to spell out the devastating impact of the storm in the area - and highlight the vulnerability of coastal communities.

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It also stresses the importance of sound emergency planning and emphasises the resilience of the communities affected.

Initial estimates listed in the report put the total cost to the council at around £3m with potentially £1.6m recoverable from insurers.

The council will apply to the central government Bellwin Scheme for reimbursement, but a council spokes said it was understood that repairing essential infrastructure such as sea defences, promenades and associated structures such as railings, lighting, paths, steps and ramps were not covered.

The council was therefore seeking central government support through whatever mechanism to help cover costs and provide future security.

Council leader Tom FitzPatrick says in the dossier introduction: “We estimate that the total cost of the storm surge to NNDC will be around £3m and we have already committed over £0.5m for which we had not planned for. This will have to be financed in the short term out of our reserves, but this will be insufficient to meet all of the uninsured costs and without extra funding this will leave the Council in a very difficult financial position.

“However, I am very pleased with the willingness of both the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Minister Brandon Lewis to engage in dialogue on this important issue.”

The report says the surge damaged 665m of council-managed sea defence, along with 3,000m of promenade and other seafront infrastructure, along with 100 Cromer sea-front chalets, and that during the recovery 40 tonnes of waste and damaged property was removed from Walcott and Bacton.

Most of the damage to council-owned property took place in Sheringham, East and West Runton, Cromer, Overstrand, Mundesley, Bacton and Walcott.

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