Norfolk

Happisburgh storm surge victim 'overwhelmed by despair'

Bryony Nierop-Reading outside her caravan
Image caption Bryony Nierop-Reading's caravan is in a field opposite the site of her former bungalow

A grandmother who lost her bungalow to the sea and who faces eviction from her temporary home says at times she has been "overwhelmed by despair".

Bryony Nierop-Reading's home fell into the sea in Happisburgh in Norfolk in the 2013 tidal surge.

The 71-year-old set up in a caravan in a nearby field but was embroiled in a planning wrangle over living there.

She was due to be evicted on Saturday but found out just hours beforehand she would not be forced to go on that day.

The former teacher said her daughter spoke to North Norfolk District Council on Friday and was told the eviction would not take place on the date originally set.

"But that's not to say they are not going to do it on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday," said Ms Nierop-Reading.

Image caption Ms Nierop-Reading at the site of the former bungalow. All that remains is the former garage floor, which overhangs the edge of the cliff

The eviction date was set after she had been in talks for a number of years with the authority, which has said she could not live there without planning permission.

Ms Nierop-Reading said North Norfolk District Council in December extended the period she could stay and offered a container for her belongings.

"I am hanging on to the hope that until the container arrives that they can't throw me out," she said.

"I am living day-by-day and it's very wearing on the nerves."

Image copyright Mike Page
Image caption In 1998, Ms Nierop-Reading's bungalow was separated from the cliff face by a garden, road and neighbours
Image copyright Mike Page
Image caption By Easter 2013, Mother Nature had left the property just metres from a sheer drop to the beach

She moved to Beach Road in 2008 but as the cliff-face disappeared, her neighbours accepted compensation and moved, however she declined the offer.

Asked why she had not moved before, she said: "It's been money, or lack of money.

"Although I am overwhelmed by despair an awful lot of the time, I try not to be. I do know it will work out."

A council spokesman said the authority was working with Ms Nierop-Reading.

"The notice was upheld by the planning inspector at appeal and we have a duty to the residents of Happisburgh to ensure compliance and ensure we apply a fair and consistent approach to all."

Image caption Ms Nierop-Reading inside the temporary home, pictured here with one of her two cats

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