A defiant ex-soldier who lived on the edge of a cliff was forced to leave his home today when the sea invaded the road that passed his house and crashed dramatically into the waves.
Former Guards Grenadier Lance Martin, 64, had vowed to stay “come what may” at the scenic £95,000 Norfolk retirement estate he bought in 2017.
But today’s dramatic events graphically demonstrated the rapidly increasing rate of coastal erosion.
Martin was joined by friends and neighbors in Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, desperately trying to salvage valuables from their home as relentless waves crashed on the beach.
Her garden shed, right next to the house, teetered precipitously on the edge as strong winds and high tides threatened to engulf the structure.
His garden shed, shown here right next to the house, teetered precipitously on the edge.
The path leading away from Mr. Martin’s house is also eroded.
Mr. Martin has moved out of his home in Norfolk
And a stretch of highway leading south from his property along the coast was left impassable by a landslide.
In 2018, Mr. Martin was able to drag his wooden property called ‘Dune Fall’ away from the coast, using heavy machinery, and now he knows his only chance to save it means having to do the same thing again.
But after losing 4m at sea just last weekend, time, tide and the odds are against him.
He was one of five residents of The Marrams in Hemsby who were evacuated last Thursday after a 12-foot tide threatened their homes once again.
Now he says he wants to drag it another 40 meters with a tractor, after several neighboring houses were demolished last weekend.
But the Great Yarmouth council had earmarked his one-bedroom bungalow house for demolition.
He bought the house for £95,000 in 2017 and insisted he could stand on its roof and still not see the sea when he first moved in.
He says a surveyor told him to expect a 3-foot loss of dunes each year due to erosion, but revealed that he lost nearly 100 feet during the Beast from the East storm alone in 2018.
Each of his neighbors have been evicted from their adjacent properties amid safety fears, but Martin has always insisted he has no intention of leaving his dream home.
His earlier plan to move the house inland cost him £100,000 and he put up his own makeshift coastal defenses on the beach below, using concrete blocks, but today they seemed to have little effect as the path past his house fell into the sea.
Mr Martin has previously said he has no regrets about his purchase, having moved from London, saying he would “do it all over again in a heart beat”.
He added: “I’ve had four years of a fantastic lifestyle around here, and may it continue for a long time to come.” You just have to have a sense of humor about it.
Mr. Martin’s house and sheds photographed before the conservatory and shed (top center) fell to the beach below
Mr. Martin pictured himself moving out of his home in Dune Falls
As he and his neighbors feared the worst today, he declined to comment but kept smiling as he emptied the property of his belongings and made preparations to literally ‘move houses’ once more.
The wooden property weighs between 40 and 60 tons.
Martin served in the Grenadier Guards from 1978 to 2000 and moved to the coast after retiring from his security job and selling his apartment in Dagenham, east London.
He previously said the crew of the local lifeboat offered to help him rearrange his 75 two-tonne concrete block sea fenders, which are meant to break the force of waves but were buried by sand.
Strong winds from storms Malik and Corrie caused further concern for Martin last week, who installed a portable searchlight to ensure he could keep an eye on his sea defenses.
While she has done “everything in my power to mitigate any damage,” she has resigned herself to the prospect of having to move her home a second time.
The project, called ‘Plan Z’, would see the property hauled away with a huge crane at a cost of up to £10,000.
It is then expected to be up to 60 meters from the edge of the cliff.
As frantic efforts to save Mr Martin’s house continued, for one of his neighbours, former pub owner Mandy Jephcote, it was too late.
She watched in horror as the retirement home of her dreams was demolished on Sunday, shortly after she was evacuated on Friday night.
Now staying in temporary accommodation a few miles away in Caister-on-Sea, Mandy, a 58-year-old mother of three, said she barely had time to retrieve valuables before the order was given. to evacuate.
“We went out for a few things on Saturday, but I have vision problems and my head wasn’t in the right place,” he said.
‘My niece and I went back on Sunday morning to get more items, but when we got there, I saw the huge bulldozer tearing the roof off with its hydraulic claw. She was crying.
‘Everything I had was in that house, and now I have nothing. She just feels like a violation and I can’t see why they couldn’t have waited a few more hours.
His menagerie of dogs, cats, and chickens were being passed on to friends and relatives for the time being, and today he was trying to make the best of his situation in a temporary unfurnished bungalow a few miles from the coast.
“I don’t know where I’m going to go now, I have nothing left,” he said.
Mandy paid £75,000 for the two-bedroom bungalow three years ago and was planning to grow old and enjoy the views of the North Sea.
But since then she has watched in horror as her front lawn slowly slid into the sea as her house moved ever closer to the edge of the cliff.
Now his wooden bungalow has become worthless.
Just two weeks ago, she stood in the garden and told MailOnline she had always wanted to retire to the ‘Marrams’, as the cliff-top community in Hemsby is known.
Shown here is the shed teetering on the brink of collapse.
She explained: ‘I used to take my three daughters to Hemsby when they were little. In fact, it was the only place we went on vacation. So it was always my dream to have a house in Marrams.
The rapid developments in Hemsby came as dozens of families on England’s east coast could be forced from their homes as coastal erosion threatens to condemn their properties to the sea.
A recent report by climate group One Home estimated that coastal homes in England worth a total of £584 million could be lost to falling cliffs by 2100.
The report accounts for 2,218 homes in 21 coastal communities that have come close to crumbling cliffs over the years.