Ex-soldier saves clifftop home by dragging it back from cliff with JCB
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A former soldier has miraculously saved his clifftop house from the wrecking ball after he dragged the home 10ft back from a cliff edge with a JCB. Ex-soldier Lance Martin struggled for more than 24 hours to move the wooden house using huge diggers.
On Thursday afternoon, the former soldier raised his arms to celebrate his win as he noticed the first movement.
A “high noon” deadline was issued to the former Grenadier Guard by Great Yarmouth Borough Council officials.
He was told that if the contractors failed to move the house significantly by 12pm, the council would have to consider issuing a demolition order.
Unwilling to get his house demolished, Lance’s rangled together a group of friends, neighbours and contractors with the men toiling all yesterday and this morning to get the wooden structure to shift.
However, none of them saw any ray of hope until Wednesday evening as the house did not move a single inch.
A key breakthrough came after the team realised that a concrete plinth under part of the house was impeding movement.
Celebrating his victory, Mr Martin told MailOnline: “It’s given us the breathing space we needed.
“Now we have shown it can be moved, we can make proper arrangements to put the house across the road once we’ve cleared the site, which will hopefully give me the time I need.”
A council official, who had arrived at the property around noon, made his way back down the road after seeing the house moving.
To keep the workforce going, his friends from the Beach Café kept a supply of croissants and bacon rolls as the morning wore on.
Mr Martin said: “These guys have been terrific and I’m so grateful to them and to the Pines for their help, as well as the local lifeboat crew who brought us the telegraph poles.
“The whole community has helped with this.”
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Mr Martin served in the Grenadier Guards from 1978 to 2000 and moved to the coast after he retired from his security job and sold his flat in Dagenham, East London.
The fast-moving drama came after three properties along the same beach, were demolished at the weekend following a succession of extremely high tides on the east Norfolk coast.
A spokesperson for Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s coastal management team, Coastal Partnership East (CPE), said: “Great Yarmouth Borough Council, via CPE, is initiating emergency works to reduce the erosion risk to the main access road for the Marrams.
“This road provides access for a number of properties and is also the conduit for utilities like water and electricity.’
“All those with homes at risk have been visited by the council’s housing and community teams who continue to offer advice.
“Storage space for people who need somewhere to put belongings has been organised and assistance in moving items is being provided.”
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