Village News

News from Winterton-on-Sea, February, 2023

Consultation on future coastal development

HOUSEHOLDERS will find themselves paying slightly less council tax to the parish from April.

While the precepts for Great Yarmouth and Norfolk councils are expected to increase, Winterton Parish Council has shaved £517 from its budget to reach a figure of £37,000. It means 6p less on the bill for a band D property.

At January’s full council meeting Cllr Dawn Clegg explained: “We have tried out best to keep costs down where we can for the residents. We’re not applying for an increase this year.”

The council was not sure what funding would be coming from the borough council for services like grass cutting, so an extra £2,750 had been earmarked for it.

There would be a 20 per cent rise in the annual hire costs for the playing field, which had not been increased for many years. The charge for hiring the village hall will also go up from April 1 to £10 an hour to help cover costs.

Parishes receive discretionary grants from the borough to pay for services it could carry out, but which are covered by the parish remit. They include maintaining parks and open spaces, beach cleaning and caring for burial grounds.

In December the borough policy and resources committee was told that of the £142,313 it handed out to the parishes, Winterton was allocated a total of £8,560. That was broken down into £2,600 for the burial grounds, £1.240 for beach cleaning, £3,720 for parks and open spaces and £1,000 for bus shelters.

But with the budget under pressure the grants are under review and payment for bus shelters is to be removed.

As the newsletter went to press neither the borough nor county council had set their budgets.

The borough council precept was due to be discussed at the policy and resources committee on

February 7.

The recommendation was that the bill for an average band D property should be £181.48. Norfolk County Council will set its budget on February 21.

It contains information about the geology of the area, explains coastal erosion is a natural process and that measures to protect some areas can have detrimental effects on others.

But it in the introduction it says: “It is clear that many of the benefits we enjoy along our coast are at risk from coastal change, and that the effective management of our coast and adaptation to the effects of coastal change are of fundamental importance to the continued sustainable enjoyment of our coast.”

The document points to trends highlighted in reports including the Uk Climate Change Risk Assessment 2022 that suggest an accelerated rise in sea-level, milder and wetter winters, hotter summers and more extreme weather events like storm surges, are likely to mean more challenges to coastal communities.

And it warns that it’s “not always possible or desirable” to meet all the objectives detailed in various shoreline management plans, councils’ local plans and neighbourhood plans.

Parish council tax agreed

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RESIDENTS are being encouraged to take part in consultation on a document that will guide future development in communities like Winterton likely to be affected by coastal erosion.

It’s been drawn up jointly by East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth Borough and North Norfolk District councils, the Broads Authority and Coastal Partnership East and is intended to provide guidance to developers, landowners and councillors on planning policy along the coast, stretching from Holkham in the north all the way down to Felixtowe.

The latest version of the Coastal Adaptation Supplementary Planning Document, which was first put up for consultation two years ago, is open for comments until March 8. After that it will be finalised and is expected to be formally adopted this summer.

Cafe foundations, 2021                             Pic: Simon Carter

These include avoiding damage, protecting homes and the economy or enhancing and protecting natural and historic sites.

According to the shoreline management plan, started 20 years ago for the Kelling Hard to Lowestoft Ness and which covers Winterton, the prediction is that a policy of holding the line would see little change. But managed retreat will mean the loss of homes and agricultural land, Waxham Barns, parking, Sea Palling lifeboat station and a huge loss of tourism by 2105.     

The new consultation document includes policies for rollback and relocation further inland for homes, commercial properties and infrastructure at risk from erosion and it features case studies up and down the coastline where properties and facilities have been moved back.

It is online at: while hard copies can be seen at the town hall in Great Yarmouth and Acle library during opening hours.


MONEY given to the parish council to put up a new flag pole outside the village hall has been refunded because of a planning obstacle.

An anonymous benefactor provided £700 to replace the old length of pipe by the gate after the lack of a proper pole meant the union flag could not be flown at half mast during mourning for the Queen without causing problems for passers-by.

But parish councillors heard a new pole could not be put up at the same spot.

Lion closes

THE cost of living crisis has claimed the Lion at Somerton.

Landlords Jane and Damon Frost shut the pub on January 29. They thanked customers who had supported them since they took over in late 2019. Rising energy and supplier bills are behind the move.

Family tea party for coronation weekend

PLANS are being laid for a village tea party to mark the coronation in May.

Because most people are expected to be in front of the TV to watch the big event, taking place in Westminster Abbey on May 6, Winterton’s celebrations will be held the following day.

“This is in the very early stages, but planning has started,” said one of the organising team, Lt Col Terry Byrne. “Sunday, May 7 is the chance for the nation to join together once again in celebration of an important Royal occasion.

“In Winterton the day will start with a church service at 10am. All are welcome. We plan to assemble a marching contingent - cadets, school children, veterans etc - and our vintage military vehicles on the village green at around 9am and march/drive to church.

“Then the Big Event, the coronation tea party, will be held in the church from 1pm to 4pm. This will be very much a family event where you provide all your own party food and drink, and all are welcome. Details on numbers, booking and a ticket system for a space will follow once the event and format has been agreed. Watch this space.”

The Monday will be a bank holiday and has been designated a national day of volunteering. “For this we plan to invite all our village  volunteer groups to ‘show off’ and  have their group or activity display in the area of the village hall, green and church room, with fundraising stalls etc and a volunteer recruitment drive, between 10am and 3pm with refreshments available. All are welcome.”

Last summer hundreds took part in a long weekend of village events to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including a beacon lighting on the beach car park and big family tea party on the green

Terry added: “A strong community, that’s you, makes things happen.”

More details about the village events will follow in the coming weeks as the plans progress.

The new King     

The Union flag

May elections

NEW rules mean people going out to vote in May’s borough and parish council elections will have to remember to take photo ID with them.

Passports, photocard driving licences and bus passes for older or disabled people are among the kind of ID that will be accepted at polling stations, along with MOD ID cards and cards with the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram.

Student railcards are not accepted.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council says expired documents are fine as long as the photo is still a good likeness.

Anyone without the right documents to vote in person can apply for a voter authority certificate online at

Electors can also apply for a postal vote.

More guidance on the new rules is available online at The elections are on May 4.

Water pity

A SUGGESTION from a member of the public that the parish council could apply for a grant towards a public drinking water fountain that could help to cut pollution caused by single use plastic bottles has been put on the back burner.

Orla Machin contacted the council before the January 25 meeting to highlight the Sea-Changers Coastal Fountain Fund initiative, which offers up to £2,500.

She said the council was best placed to take it on because residents, landowners, water suppliers and local authorities would need to be consulted. Cllr Emma Punchard thought the February 28 deadline for this year’s round of grants was too tight and pointed out the grant would probably not cover the cost. But the council could try to put in an application next year.

Since 2011 marine conservation charity Sea-Changers has given nearly £300k in grants to different projects including £550 to the Friends of Horsey Seals for its flying rings campaign. So far it has helped to fund 23 drinking water fountains.

To find out more visit

PLANS for a new Coast Watch station at Winterton are dead in the water.

A bitterly disappointed controller Roger Rolph said the speed of erosion combined with a demand from council planners for a habitat survey of the site just north of the fishermen’s sheds meant the unit’s operations were over.

Vital Coast Watch station won’t be replaced

“It seems to me that the flora and fauna are more important than humans,” he said.

Winterton’s watchkeepers have been instrumental in saving lives over the years. The waters are notorious for rip tides and there are fears there could be a repeat of July when a swimmer died. He is convinced that if there had been a watchkeeper on duty that day they would have spotted that she was in difficulty.

Coast Watch lodged a planning application in spring last year for planning permission to install a mobile unit mounted on a trailer. It won support from borough councillor James Bensly who said: “This lifesaving emergency service and it's team are needed in this village as soon as possible.”

Winterton Parish Council also backed it and said erosion needed to be considered because it wanted the unit to be in place long term.

By then around 20 metres of cliff at their intended site had been claimed by the sea.

“We have to have a minimum of 30m between the unit and the edge and it meant we couldn’t put it there because the gap was down to 25m,” he said. If the unit had been in place it would already have had to be moved back.

The meeting decided that because of the rate of erosion and the cost of the survey - they feared it could be only one of several more hurdles the charity would have to clear - the bid would be abandoned and operations ended. “It was a bit of a blow really,” said Roger. “We had a good crew of guys and people were asking to join.”

He explained the unit could not go back on the car park where it had been for so many years before it was taken down in March, because so much land had been lost. Building on the wartime observation post on the other side of Beach Road was not possible because it was not level.

Roger Rolph in the Coast Watch tower    Pic: Peter Robins

The tower before it was taken down   Picture: Peter Robins

The case for the facility was laid out to the borough council’s planners and Coastal Partnership East at a meeting. “We told them all about what we did,” Roger said. The list included helping people who were hurt, preventing suicides and alerting the authorities to illegal immigration.

But in September Natural England said it wanted more information because it believed the application could have significant impact on the dunes site of special scientific interest, the conservation area and the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as the Gt Yarmouth North Denes Special Protection Area.

It recommended a habitats assessment and said without one it might need to object.

Roger said: “It came to a head in January when the planning officer told us we needed a shadow habitats regulations survey.”

And Coast Watch would have to arrange and pay for it. Their agent made inquiries and discovered the cost would be £740 on top of the £646 payment for the planning application and the £250 cost of moving the unit to storage. The watchkeepers and trustees met on February 3 to discuss whether to go ahead.

He paid tribute to the efforts of his predecessor Alan McMurchie who was responsible for the replacement of the old coastguard station in the early 2000s with units from an old RAF range that were turned into a new lookout post in the car park.

The planning application has now been withdrawn.

Read more about the work of Winterton Coast Watch here.


43 PANCAKES were sold this Shrove Tuesday morning at the Church Room, raising a total of £129 for church funds. Well done Sandra, Margaret, Dawn and June.

Flipping Great pancakes