Will house prices crash in Norfolk?
Published: 31 March 2008 By MoneyhighStreet Staff Leave a Comment
Plans are being considered that will abandon 25 square miles of Norfolk to the sea. This could have a dramatic effect on house prices in Norfolk.
Residents of six villages on the Norfolk coast are horrified to learn that the Government is considering plans to stop maintaining the sea defences that protect their homes from the sea.
With the costs of maintaining sea walls spiralling in the face of rising sea levels and increasingly stormy weather, Norfolk residents may be surprised to learn that it is an environmental group, Natural England, that it proposing these controversial plans.
The proposal will create a new inlet 15 miles inland with major tourist attractions such as Hickling broad and historic buildings in Potter Heigham being destroyed by the sea. As their sea defences deteriorate, it is only a matter of time before the sea floods villages and farms out.
Although this proposal is still in its planning phases, the fact that 1.2 percent of Norfolk is now under threat of flooding, will cast a blight on the villages concerned.
Unfortunately it seems that according to a 1949 act of parliament, compensation for flood damage caused by the sea need not be provided by the Government.
According to Joan Ruddock, the minister for climate change, there are no plans to change this act. This means that those losing their homes as this part of Norfolk floods, may not receive any compensation at all.
So with house prices already depressed by the current market conditions, the outlook for house prices in risk prone areas seems far from rosy. Insurance companies, too, will shy away from insuring houses at severe risk of flooding, making these homes uninsurable and unsellable.
So 25 square miles on Norfolk will become blighted by this proposal, but what about other parts of the county and the East coast?
If plans can seriously be considered that abandon parts of Norfolk to the sea, then coastal areas in Lincolnshire may also be at risk to future sea defence cost savings.
We don't want to be alarmist, however proposals like this must make home ownership in some East coast resorts increasingly risky. Who knows when those vital sea defences will be breached, but it may be prudent to factor plans like these into your property aspirations.