Legal Case over erosion damage

Hopton Beach 1996

Hopton Beach 1996

Hopton, a major holiday resort housing Bourne Leisure’s large holiday complex has lost between 20,000 and 40,000 cubic metres of sand from its beach, a depth of >3 metres and much of the dune frontage from its once extensive sandy beach, most since the construction of the Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour to its north.

 March 2013 Photograph of the stricken Hopton Beach

March 2013 Photograph of the stricken Hopton Beach by James Bass

Bourne Leisure are claiming that Eastport UK, the harbours owners, should pick up the bill under the Outer Harbour Revision Order of 2005 which states if “there is caused or created an accumulation or erosion or alteration to the tidal flow or littoral driftlittoral sediment flow This is the flow or movement of sediment (sand, shingle or pebbles) along a beach or coastline. The flow or direction of movement is usually determined by the tidal and wave regime dominant in the area. which causes damage, or reasonable expectation of damage, the Authority (the Great Yarmouth Port Authority in this case) shall ‘remedy’ this”. But the outer harbour bosses have stated that they will be contesting these claims.

Should the port authority refuse to do so, the borough council may commission this work to be done and recover the cost. Thus Bourne heads are calling on the six signatories to a legally-binding monitoring agreement, the Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour Agreement 2003, to use their statutory powers to commission an independent inspector to review and confirm their findings.

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