Houses worth a total of £600m will be lost to the sea by 2100 due to coastal erosion, report warns
Thousands of houses worth a total of £600million in 20 at-risk villages and hamlets will tumble into the sea by the end of the century because of Britain’s disappearing coastline, report warns
Homes worth around £600million will crumble into the sea by the end of the century due to coastal erosion, a report warns.
More than 20 at-risk villages and hamlets were analysed to estimate how much coastline could be lost assuming that current policies on whether to defend, retreat or abandon sections of coast are followed.
The value of damages to homes was estimated at £584million using prices from property website Rightmove, according to the research by climate action group One Home.
In all, more than 2,200 homes are predicted to be lost by the year 2100.
he value of damages to homes was estimated at £584million. Pictured: Home on coast at Hemsby
The coastal communities most at risk 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.
‘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.’
The climate expert also said that many homeowners are unaware their properties are at risk and that decisions have been made about whether to protect them.
She said: ‘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.’
The risk of erosion was calculated using data from the Environment Agency’s National Coastal Erosion Risk Mapping.
Policies on whether to defend, retreat or abandon sections of coast are detailed in shoreline management plans, developed by coastal groups with members mainly from local councils and the Environment Agency.
More than 2,200 homes are predicted to be lost by the year 2100. Pictured: A 230ft-long crack in a cliff at Seatown this week
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.
He also said that many homeowners did not know their properties were at risk when they purchased them.
He added: ‘People here are very nervous. 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.’
Lucy Ansbro, 54, said she had spent £500,000 protecting her home from coastal erosion in Thorpeness, Suffolk.
But her neighbour’s mansion, once worth £2million, was demolished in October 2022 as receding cliffs made it unsafe. She said: ‘Owners need to know how quickly change can happen if you live on vulnerable parts of the coast.
‘Nobody is taking this seriously or accepting that communities are at serious risk.’
The report comes after a 230ft-long crack in a cliff on the Jurassic Coast opened up last week. The 60ft-wide section of the cliff at Seatown, Dorset, has sunk by 3ft.
An initial crack was left in the sandstone after a huge collapse in April 2021 but recent movements have destabilised it further.
Experts believe the whole section may give way at any moment and have urged the public to keep away.