Some 21 villages and hamlets around England’s coastline have been identified as being at risk (Picture: metro.co.uk)
This map shows where homes are most at risk of falling into the sea, as campaigners warn almost £600 million worth could be lost by 2100.
Some 21 villages and hamlets around England’s coastline have been identified as being at risk.
Climate action group One Home used data from the Environment Agency’s National Coastal Erosion Risk Mapping (NCERM) dataset at 5% confidence, indicating a less than 5% chance of the coast being eroded further inland than the estimate.
The value of property damage, on the land that could be hit by coastal erosion by 2100, was estimated at £584 million using average local authority values or site-specific values from Rightmove.
The group has compiled a map highlighting what shoreline management plans are in place in different areas of coast, and what the level of protection is.
The coastal communities identified by One Home that could lose the most homes are in Cornwall, Cumbria, Dorset, East Yorkshire, Essex, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Northumberland, Norfolk and Sussex.
Angela Terry, chief executive of One Home, said: ‘Sea levels are rising as global temperatures soar and so larger waves batter our coast during severe storms.
‘These irreversible changes mean some cliff faces are crumbling fast.
Home teetering on the cliff edge on The Marrams in Hemsby, Norfolk (Picture: PA)
Almost £600 million worth of coastal homes in England could be lost to the sea by 2100, according to a climate action group (Picture: PA)
‘We can’t turn the tide or build a wall around the entire coast so we urgently need to help seaside communities to prepare for the damage that will come.
‘Shoreline management plans are publicly available documents but most people are unaware of their existence.
‘Many homeowners don’t know their properties are at risk or that decisions have been made about whether to protect them or not.
‘SMPs are not statutory, so new developments can continue.
One Home identified 21 at-risk villages and hamlets and estimated how much coast could be lost there (Picture: PA)
‘Funding is not guaranteed so even where communities have been chosen to be saved, the money might not be there, giving people false hope that their home will be protected long term.
‘One Home’s aim with this map is to explain SMPs in an easy-to-digest way so that homeowners are sufficiently informed to make timely decisions about their properties to reduce future harm.
‘Currently, for those homes at risk, there is no compensation scheme available.
‘Owners might be asked to pay to demolish their homes while still paying their mortgage.’
Ian Brennan, chairman of the Save Hemsby Coastline charity in Norfolk, said more than 90 homes in Hemsby are at risk of going into the sea in the next 25 years if nothing is done (Picture: PA)
Ian Brennan, chairman of the Save Hemsby Coastline charity in Norfolk, said more than 90 homes in Hemsby are at risk of going into the sea in the next 25 years if nothing is done.
The retired telecoms manager 63, said that Save Hemsby Coastline was formed 10 years ago when several homes were lost during a storm surge, and it is pressing for sea defences.
‘People here are very nervous,’ he said.
‘Every time there is a storm those who live within sight and sound of the sea fear it will be the one which means they lose their home.
‘It takes a huge toll on their mental health.’
Mr Brennan said it has taken a huge toll on people’s mental health (Picture: PA)
Meanwhile, TV producer Lucy Ansbro said she had spent £500,000 protecting her home from coastal erosion in Thorpeness, Suffolk.
The 54-year-old said her neighbour’s mansion, once worth £2 million, was demolished in October 2022 as receding cliffs made it unsafe.
‘Owners need to know how quickly change can happen if you live on vulnerable parts of the coast,’ she said.
‘Surveys and solicitors’ checks don’t include erosion but I was aware there was a threat of erosion when I bought this house in 2009.
‘However, I never dreamed it would be this severe. No research I did suggested it would ever happen this quickly.
‘The worst-case scenario predicted losing five metres to the sea within 50 years but, in fact, I lost five metres in 2020 alone.
‘Houses behind mine, less than 50m from the clifftop, have recently sold for close to £1 million.
‘Nobody is taking this seriously or accepting that communities are at serious risk.’
More than a third of England’s coastline has a designation of ‘no active intervention’, One Home said, meaning that nothing will be done.
The other two levels of protection in SMPs are ‘hold the line’, meaning that defences will be maintained and upgraded if funding is found, and ‘managed realignment’ which involves moving or allowing the shoreline to retreat in a managed way.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: ‘We know the devastating impact that flooding and coastal change can have, which is why improving the resilience of people and communities is our top priority.
‘From 2015 to 2021, we invested £1.2 billion to better protect around 200,000 homes from coastal erosion and sea flooding.
‘However, climate change means that our coast is changing at an accelerated rate, meaning in some places we and coastal authorities will need to help local communities adapt and transition away from the current coastline.
‘We are working closely with communities and local authorities to provide support and guidance, including through the Coastal Accelerator Transition Programme.
‘Anyone living, visiting or working along the coast can already find out about coastal risk, current and planned coastal management by going on gov.uk.’
Click here to see One Home’s map.
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‘Every time there is a storm those who live within sight and sound of the sea fear it will be the one which means they lose their home.’