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Man who lost Norfolk home joins climate change legal bid


  • By Connor Bennett
  • BBC News, Norfolk

Image source, Andrew Turner/BBC

Image caption, Kevin Jordan’s home was razed amid fears it would soon fall into the sea due to coastal erosion of Norfolk’s sandy cliffs

A man whose clifftop home was demolished amid fears of erosion is part of a legal challenge into the government’s climate change plan.

A High Court judge has ordered a judicial review of the National Adaption Plan following a case led by Friends of the Earth.

The two-day hearing will take place 18-19 June.

Image source, Andrew Turner/BBC

Image caption, Kevin Jordan, 70 says lost his home in late 2023, just before Christmas, when his home was demolished but says the “fight goes on”

Mr Jordan, 70, who is a member of the Save Hemsby Coastline campaign, said: “This country is completely under-prepared for the impacts of climate change, and the threat it poses to the homes, lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.

“When I bought my house 14 years ago, I was told it would be safe for about another 100 years. It wasn’t.

“I may have lost my home to climate change, but the fight goes on.”

More from Hemsby:

The National Adaptation Programme sets out the actions that government and others should take to adapt to the impacts of climate change in the UK.

“I hope this legal challenge forces the government to draw up a more ambitious and effective climate adaptation plans that better protect us all,” said Mr Jordan, who is one of two individuals who have joined the Friends of the Earth (FoE) legal action, along with disability activist Doug Paulley who FoE said had a number of health conditions exacerbated by searing summer temperatures.

Image caption, The Marrams, north of Hemsby Gap, is the part of the cliff most affected by North Sea coastal erosion in recent years
Image caption, The sandy cliff is prone to collapse when the winds whip up high tides

FoE campaigner Alison Dilworth said: “We’re delighted the High Court has agreed to hear this crucial legal challenge.

“The government’s adaptation programme – which should be a plan to protect us all from the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis – is completely inadequate and puts people’s lives at risk.

“We know the most marginalised communities, including disabled people, are most at risk and largely excluded from planning and preparedness work.

“We hope our legal challenge will lead to a robust new plan that helps safeguard people, property and infrastructure from the consequences of a rapidly warming planet.”

A government spokesperson said: “Our third National Adaptation Programme sets out a robust five-year plan to strengthen infrastructure, promote a greener economy, and safeguard food production in the face of the climate challenges we face.

“We are investing billions to improve the UK’s climate resilience, including £5.6bn in flood and coastal schemes, safeguarding future water supplies by accelerating £2.2bn of investment and driving tree planting and peat restoration through the £750m Nature for Climate Fund.

“We are unable to comment further whilst legal proceedings are ongoing.”

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