The cost of maintaining costal defencing spanning from Hunstanton to Snettisham beach could become a burden that caravan owners may have to bear (well a portion at least).
The proposal had been sometime in the making following the reduction of government funding, but should caravan owners be the ones to foot the bill? One man who disagrees is Michael McDonnell; speaking to local paper Lynn News he said "The government should prioritise investing in protecting Norfolk's coast to avoid a New Orleans situation." He also went on to say "we're not just talking about protecting the beach for holiday makers, but high-grade farmland." The stakes couldn't be higher.
A report outlining the potential risks of sub-standard coastal defences was sent to West Norfolk's cabinet. It included:
These figures reflect just how crucial finding a solution to the coastal funding is.
Plan into Action
Chairman of Stakeholder group Brian Long (of which Michael McDonnell is also a part) have formulated a plan they feel will be fair and represent the best interests of all involved.
Mr Long said he expected a proposal for West Norfolk Council, Norfolk County Council and the Environment Agency to jointly cover around 45 per cent of the annual cost. The remaining funds would be sourced from caravan park operators, holiday home and land owners. Mr Long followed up on his proposal saying "per person with a caravan in the area, it could cost around £40 to £50 a year to meet the annual cost of around £240,000 to top-up protective shingle banks on the beaches, but increasing defences would cost more." Click here to view Allens stunning range of static caravan parks!
It is thought that West Norfolk council will be asked to approve £50,000 towards the maintenance next year; this will be until a system to collect contributions is formed and finalised. Norfolk County Council and the environment agency will be asked to cover the rest.
It is in everyone's best intentions that the coastal defences are maintained and failure to do so could result in the loss of lives not to mention thousands of pounds of structural damage to boot - an outcome that no-one wants. As aforementioned a decision will soon be reached, let's just hope it doesn't burn a hole in caravan owner's pockets.
From the sounds of it a holiday is well and truly needed for these unlucky caravan owners! Allens Caravans, connoisseurs of the family holiday (caravan style) would undoubtedly provide the perfect remedy. Their wide selection of residential park homes and enticing holiday parks make Allens the number one authority on caravan holidays. For more information on Allens Caravan's services feel free to call 01564 792323.