Homes evacuated yet one man & his caravan still remain on a cliff edge!

Posted: 20/04/2012

Nigel Cutting is the one man that remains living only 10 metres away from a cliff edge in Happisburgh, Norfolk because the sea has ruthlessly ripped away the previously existing 20 metres of land into its watery abyss.

Norfolk Council have evacuated the properties that are located on the cliff and paid the residents 40% of their ordinary market value under the Coastal Change Pathfinder scheme, set up by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). However, according to the Council, Mr Cutting is no longer entitled to any of the £11million fund because his land does not exist anymore.

Nigel Cutting has not paid Council Tax for his caravan, situated on the cliff edge until last autumn and has only lately submitted paperwork that ‘suggests’ that he owns 66 Beach Road, which consists of a 30 metre plot of land that he bought in 1991.

The Council has spoke to the Guardian and said, ‘This parcel of land was lost to erosion some years ago and doesn't therefore now exist. Nigel Cutting has not lived at this location for 10 years.’

Nigel Cutting, is claiming that Norfolk Council are putting him at risk of a landslide because of the demolition work they are carrying out on the properties next to his plot of land. His caravan shakes so much in high winds that his TV falls off its stand and he is worried that, like his TV, his caravan is going to cascade down the cliff face while the empty properties are being demolished, causing vibrations through the ground.

Cutting says he has lived on his 30 metre plot of land for ten years, which gives him the legal right to reside there without any planning permission. Unfortunately for Nigel, the Council have closed the Pathfinder programme and therefore he will not receive any financial assistance from the scheme.

A planning expert from the Gypsy Council, Candy Sheridan has said that Mr Cutting was overlooked because he did not register his deeds with the Land Registry because he can not read or write. Sheridan spoke to the Guardian and said, ‘The Council know he is here and they won't stop the demolition work. Everyone else has been offered alternative accommodation. They are hoping he'll just disappear.’

The Council have offered Mr Cutting provisional accommodation on two local Traveller sites, even thought he owns a house in the town of Walcott yet he claims that he wants to live in a caravan in accordance with his cultural traditions, ‘They (the Council) are trying to change my lifestyle just because they don't like what they see sometimes," he said. "They are hoping I'll just fall off the edge.’ Norfolk Council did make him an offer for his land on the basis of how much of it existed in September 2008 but he did not take the financial assistance.

What are your thoughts on Mr Cuttings risky position and how the Council have dealt with the matter?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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