Norfolk

Hemsby home owner Lance Martin won't stop sea battle

Lance Martin with a digger
Image caption Lance Martin has hired a digger to excavate boulders from Hemsby beach to help shore up the remaining land around his house

A man fighting to protect his seaside home from storms eroding the coast is refusing "to give up" his battle to protect his house.

Former soldier Lance Martin, 62, lives on the Norfolk coast in Hemsby in the only coastal home in a row of houses to survive a storm in 2018.

He has now hired a digger and got permission to shore up sea defences along the front of his home.

"It's up to me to look after myself," he said.

After the storms he moved his house back 10 metres (32ft) and then started work on the sea defences.

Image caption At the end of last year, Great Yarmouth Council told Mr Martin he could shore up sea defences

"Doing something is better than doing nothing... and the way that the things are going with the planning permission and environmental impact studies - that we hope we will get eventually here - it could take another year, it could take another two years, we don't know," said Mr Martin.

At a meeting in December, Great Yarmouth Council told him he could use concrete blocks and boulders which had been put up in 2013 to help protect his home.

Mr Martin said he did not know if his makeshift sea defences would work but said: "It's a chance you take.

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Media captionHemsby home dragged back from crumbling cliff

"If I can stop the sea from reaching the foot of the dunes, then I'm going to be safe and sound.

Despite the fact none of his neighbours remain, Mr Martin said he was determined to stay.

"It's my home - it really is as simple as that. I love the place and the people around here," he said.

In a statement, the council confirmed he had been in consultation with it.

"The council gave permission, based on the information presented in his proposals," a spokesman said.

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