Analysing 'National Coastal Erosion Risk Mapping', Confused.com has used data from the Environment Agency to uncover which coastal towns and villages are at risk of crumbling away into the sea.
The Environmental Agency calculated that 7,000 homes, worth more than £1bn, will fall into the sea within this century. The report also states that 520,000 properties are in areas with coastal flooding risk, and without further action this figure could treble to 1.5m by the 2080s.
As part of the research, Confused.com has ranked the top ten most at-risk areas in England, based on the current percentage of the coastline that's disappearing.
Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire
Withernsea, East Riding of Yorkshire
Sunderland, Tyne & Wear
Filey, North Yorkshire
Camber, East Sussex
Pevensey Bay, East Sussex
Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex
Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Happisburgh, a town just under 20 miles away from Norwich, is one of the highest risk coastal erosion areas in the UK with a predicted 318ft being lost over the next 20 years. This is the equivalent to the length of two football pitches. Already around 35 homes have been lost to land erosion in this area.
Around 30 miles from Norwich and close to the town of Lowestoft, Kessingland sits on the coastline. The study reveals that by 2039 a huge 230ft of land is due to have eroded in this area, and within 50 years it will have swallowed a total 574ft if no more action is taken by the government and local council. Many places near the shore are farmers' fields, although there are some holiday parks and houses. As the coastline moves inward, more houses and caravans could be washed away.
Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire
The East Yorkshire town of Hornsea sits by the sea about 16 miles from the city of Hull. It's the area that's third most-likely to be affected by coastal erosion in the next 20 years. With costal erosion in this area already swallowing up around 13ft of land per year on unprotected parts, it was suggested that approximately 237 homes are likely to be lost on East Yorkshire's coastline in the next nine decades. Costal erosion rates predict that 223ft of land over 20 years in Hornsea is likely to have disappeared.
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
On the North East coast, close to the Sunderland suburb of Grangetown, is one of the UK's most at-risk areas of coastal erosion. In the SR2 suburb, which is next to this area, there are 15,230 houses. It's expected that over the next 20 years, 131ft of coastline will have eroded in this residential area. Looking at a satellite view, this town may not feel the effects of the creeping coastline in the near future.
However, in 100 years' time, it could interfere with the nearby road and rail links, causing transport issues for residents and commuters passing through. Houses are generally set back from the coast here, which could be wise given how much erosion is expected in the future.
How is the country being affected?
The east coast of England is being hit the hardest by the elements. Yorkshire and the Humber suffers the highest rate of coastline erosion, with towns such are Hornsea, Withernsea and Filey are being afflicted the most.
According to the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) - 31% of coastline in the South of England is also eroding, leaving coastal areas such as Norfolk, Suffolk, East Sussex and West Sussex at risk.
Whereas, the North West of England is eroding at a much lower rate. Only 18.5% of their coastline is affected by erosion. However, the same cannot be said for the North East where 27% of the coastal length is stricken.
Tom Vaughan, Head of Home at Confused.com said: "Coastal erosion has become one of the most worrying issues for UK homeowners in seaside towns. Our research highlights the increasing risk that many coastal residents are facing, to the point where some are ultimately looking at losing their homes over the next 20 years.
"Homes on the coastline have always been popular, especially in the likes of Yorkshire and East England where views are second to none. However, as land erodes, we could be seeing more expensive insurance premiums, as the danger of damage from climate change is higher than living inland."
The full Living on the Edge study can be found here: https://www.confused.com/home-insurance/living-on-the-edge
Confused.com 'Homes at high risk' guide can be found here: www.confused.com/home-insurance/guides/homes-at-high-risk