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Cornish Coastal Homes at Risk

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4:29pm 29th December 2014

There is a warning dozens of homes in Cornwall are at risk of collapsing into the sea.  

The Environment Agency reckons 76 will fall because of coastal erosion in the next twenty years.

In 50 years that number looks more like 132.

That is the highest rate in the UK and could rise further if the extreme storms continue.

Anne Russell moved from her home in Porthleven after watching the cliff disappear: "Every year we were losing a little bit more of our garden. The steps to the beach were washed away, another year the boundary wall was washed away and it was difficult to insure it. We did manage to insure it but the premiums were getting higher.

"It's not a nice feeling if you are living that near the edge of the cliff. The car park at the end of our drive, public access down to the beach has been washed away so no-one can access the beach over on the Loe Bar side. It is quite scary."

The Environment Agency insists the figures are an estimate and not a statement of fact.

The government says it is investing billions to protect properties. A Defra spokesperson said: "We are spending more than £3.2 billion over the course of this parliament on flood management and protection from coastal erosion - half a billion more than in the previous parliament.

"Our first ever long-term investment strategy for flood defences will see a further 15,000 houses better protected from coastal erosion by the end of the decade.

"Local authorities are best placed to manage the risks to their coastline and government help is available to assist with the costs associated with the loss of a home to erosion."

4:29pm 29th December 2014

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