close
close
Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

‘Granny Canute’, 78, gives up part of her front garden so the council can build a new track to a clifftop car park in the village of Norfolk, which is at risk of being cut off by coastal erosion

By Vaseline May30,2024

A grandmother called ‘Granny Canute’ gives up part of her garden to the council to prevent her village’s clifftop car park from being cut off by erosion.

Bryony Nierop-Reading, 78, has sacrificed the corner of her Norfolk home to allow the district council to build a new track to the adjacent car park, currently at risk of falling into the North Sea.

The road leading to the car park is currently crumbling into the sea due to coastal erosion and a new planned car park will not open in time.

Mrs Nierop-Reading, from Happisburgh, sacrificed part of her garden for the first time in January after part of the road to the car park was lost.

But diggers rolled into the village again yesterday morning to dig up more of her garden as the sea drew ever closer.

Bryony Nierop-Reading, 78, nicknamed 'Granny Canute', has sacrificed part of her garden to prevent her village's cliff-top car park from being cut off by erosion

Bryony Nierop-Reading, 78, nicknamed ‘Granny Canute’, has sacrificed part of her garden to prevent her village’s cliff-top car park from being cut off by erosion

Highlighted in red are the pieces that Mrs. Nierop-Reading sacrifices.  She said: “If I had said no to the council, access to the car park would be closed and there would be people parking in people's driveways all over Happisburgh.  So I had no choice: I had to sacrifice my garden for the sake of the community'

Highlighted in red are the pieces that Mrs. Nierop-Reading sacrifices. She said: “If I had said no to the council, access to the car park would be closed and there would be people parking in people’s driveways all over Happisburgh. So I had no choice: I had to sacrifice my garden for the sake of the community’

In less than 30 years, large parts of the coast in Happisburgh have been eroded. The photo on the left was taken in 1996, the photo on the right was taken last year

Mrs Nierop-Reading, who has lived in the village since 2009, said: ‘Erosion is creeping in further and further, to the point where the car park entrance becomes too narrow.

“If I had said no to the council, access to the car park would have been closed and there would be people parking in people’s driveways all over Happisburgh.

‘So I had no choice: I had to sacrifice my garden for the sake of the community.

“Unfortunately, my house will be next. It’s depressing and it’s only getting worse.

‘This could all have been saved if the government and council had done something about the sea defenses in Happisburgh.

“It’s disappointing that they’re letting parts of the country just disappear.”

The new access road, constructed by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), is a temporary solution to keep the current car park open after plans were approved earlier this year to build a new one further inland.

The plans will be built in phases, with a new access road being built along Lighthouse Lane first.

However, it is unlikely that the new car park will open until the existing one has become unusable.

Mrs Nierop-Reading was nicknamed Granny Canute after she refused to move from her previous home in the same town, which was lost to the sea.

The new access path, constructed by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), is a temporary solution to keep the current car park open after plans were approved earlier this year to build a new one further inland.

The new access path, constructed by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), is a temporary solution to keep the current car park open after plans were approved earlier this year to build a new one further inland.

Mrs Nierop-Reading has lived in the city of Norfolk since 2009, but was forced to move after her bungalow was lost to the sea in 2013

Mrs Nierop-Reading has lived in the city of Norfolk since 2009, but was forced to move after her bungalow was lost to the sea in 2013

The defiant resident moved into a three-bedroom 1930s bungalow on Beach Road, which she bought for £25,000 in 2009.

Her property was about six meters above the sea at the time, but just four years later it was hanging precariously over the edge of the cliff.

However, Ms Nierop-Reading decided to stay and missed out on £13,000 she could have claimed as part of a £3 million ‘roll back’ scheme that saw North Norfolk District Council buy and demolish properties in Happisburgh threatened by erosion.

But she was eventually forced to leave in December 2013 after a tidal wave in the North Sea decimated the Norfolk coast.

The wave claimed about a third of her bungalow and a week later she watched the rest of the building being demolished.

She then moved into a caravan on the land she owned, but faced a second fight over her home when the council told her the plot was not zoned for residential use.

In 2017 she moved to her current semi-detached home, known as The Old Coastguard.

As well as the car park and Grandma Canute’s house, Happisburgh’s famous lighthouse, 15th century church and village pub could all soon be claimed by the North Sea if nothing changes.

Work to build rock defenses about six miles along the coast from Happisburgh, near Mundesley and Cromer, started in February this year, but Ms Nierop-Reading’s town will not benefit from the £25 government-funded scheme million, despite the fact that erosion there is going twice as fast as expected. rate.

The 78-year-old previously said locals were ‘furious’ at their omission from the plan.

“We feel betrayed by the government and believe it is completely unpatriotic to allow parts of the country, such as Happisburgh, to be lost to the sea,” she said.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in Happisburgh who isn’t upset about this. We are in as much need as Mundesley.”

Ms Nierop-Reading said she and her neighbors were 'furious' that Happisburgh has been left out of plans to build rock defenses along the Norfolk coast

Ms Nierop-Reading said she and her neighbors were ‘furious’ that Happisburgh has been left out of plans to build rock defenses along the Norfolk coast

As well as the car park and Grandma Canute's house, Happisburgh's famous lighthouse, 15th century church and village pub could all soon be claimed by the North Sea if things don't change

As well as the car park and Grandma Canute’s house, Happisburgh’s famous lighthouse, 15th century church and village pub could all soon be claimed by the North Sea if things don’t change

Coastal erosion on the East Anglian coast has made headlines in recent years, with more homes destroyed in the coastal town of Hemsby, Norfolk.

Liz Howard, who lives on the front line on Beach Road in Happisburgh, added: “Every morning we look out our window to see how much closer it is getting.

‘I see Happisburgh as a place of medieval history, a settlement dating back thousands of years that people still call home today.

‘What will they do to Norfolk in the long term if Happisburgh is washed away? We will lose all that history.’

Related Post