March 9 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 2, 2014
A cliff-top home is set to go under the hammer - before it ends up under the sea.
The precariously positioned property - just metres from the cliff edge at Easton Bavents, near Southwold - is going up for auction for £25,000-£50,000.
Although the semi-detached house at the end of Easton Lane is heading towards inevitable destruction, the sellers are hoping to lure a buyer in with the enticement of rights and financial assistance to build elsewhere.
In November, Waveney District Council announced that help would be offered to owners of homes in Easton Bavents, including money towards buying a new plot or building a replacement property, under its Pathfinder scheme.
Anyone who bought property after 1998 could receive up to £10,000 towards fees and may be compensated for demolition costs. The new owner could also take advantage of planning policy giving all property owners within the erosion line rights to relocate inland.
Andrew McTear, whose insolvency firm, McTear, Williams & Wood, is selling the house, said: “The new owner would still need to find an alternative building plot and meet other conditions, but with the help of the Pathfinder scheme, planners should give consent outside the village envelope.
“It is highly likely that the property will give way to coastal erosion in the next couple of years - if it is not demolished sooner - so we want to get our skates on with the sale.”
Mr McTear said there has already been some interest in the property, which is due to be auctioned by Great Yarmouth firm Aldreds in February.
WDC said its Pathfinder scheme does not provide blanket support for Easton Bavents property owners who are at risk from coastal erosion, and that each case would be assessed individually.
It said that, although owners of erosion-threatened properties can seek planning permission on land which ordinarily would not be permitted, there remained strict planning criteria which the landowner would need to satisfy, including that replacement dwellings should have no detrimental impact upon the landscape, townscape or biodiversity of the area.
It is understood that the owner of the adjoining property wishes to put a caravan on the inland edge of the plot but may be prevented from doing so by a restrictive covenant.
Easton Bavents was once the most easterly parish of Britain but most of the village has been lost to the sea since the early 17th century.