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£100k boost for saltmarsh work at Waldringfield

PUBLISHED: 16:59 06 March 2016

The saltmarsh on the River Deben at Waldringfield.

The saltmarsh on the River Deben at Waldringfield.

Archant

A project to protect one of Suffolk’s most popular and best-known riverside villages from future flooding is today set to receive a boost of almost £100,000.

Following the tidal surge of December 2013 when 18 homes and several businesses suffered flooding, villagers in Waldringfield got together to formulate a plan of action to stop the River Deben inundating properties again.

They formed Waldringfield Flood Defence Group and managed to raise around £1million mainly through grants, for a 1km protective flood wall to be built, and a six-hectare freshwater marsh wildlife habitat.

The saltmarsh restoration works – which will act as a barrier to erosion of the new sea defences and help protect 70 jobs in the area – are part of the second phase of the project and will now receive just under £100,000 from the Government’s Coastal Community Fund, which previously gave the project £633,000.

Communities Minister Mark Francois said the work was one of eight projects to receive a share of an additional £800,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund to help continue work to create jobs, attract investment and boost the local economy.

He said: “We’re determined to unlock the enormous potential of our great British coast.

“Over the past three years we’ve already funded more than 200 projects along the shorefront – from piers and promenades to shopfronts and sailing centres – to attract tourists, boost jobs and create vibrant local economies.

“Now this extra £800,000 will help put another eight coastal communities back on the map and kick-start their own exciting regeneration plans.”

The flood defence group said: “The initial 200m of work on the saltmarsh was partly funded by the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Beauty unit. This is especially visible at low tide towards the Turner’s Bench end of the footpath and a further 1,000m of protection over a wider area is now required to prevent the saltmarsh from further erosion and fragmentation.

“This work will take place over the summer, but will not cause any disruption to walkers on the footpath.”

Some final work for the footpath to provide a top dressing is scheduled for May.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: “I welcome these additional funds for this key project and I know the Waldringfield Flood Defence Group will too.

“They have worked incredibly hard to make this a reality and should be congratulated for putting together another successful bid. The village has been badly affected by tidal surges in the past and this grant will help to further strengthen the defences which have been put in place.”

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