Access will remain on damaged seafront

A PLEDGE was today given to walkers that they will still be able to enjoy strolling the whole length of the prom at Felixstowe this summer - despite the state of the area's sea defences.

A PLEDGE was today given to walkers that they will still be able to enjoy strolling the whole length of the prom at Felixstowe this summer - despite the state of the area's sea defences.

As well as the huge hole which has opened up in the walkway opposite the funfair, coastal engineers say a number of cracks have now appeared in it on the south side of the Shore Break café.

Work has started on a three-week project to place rocks on the beach in front of the sea wall to protect it over the next few months - though council chiefs say this is a sticking plaster and do not expect it to last next winter.

Terry Oakes, consultant engineer to Suffolk Coastal District Council, said the prom would be kept open.

Contractors have fenced off 400 metres of prom to allow a safe track for the dumper trucks which will bring the 2,000 tons of rock from the store at the south seafront to the seashore.

However a two-metre strip is being left on the landward side so people can still walk along.

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This will also enable beach hut owners along the south seafront to use their huts, although there will be no exit from the prom at the Manor Club end. The council has written to all hut owners to let them know the situation.

Mr Oakes said the emergency work had become even more necessary because of the discovery of additional cracks in the prom, suggesting that more areas were at risk of collapse.

“We are starting off by putting the rock onto the beach south of the café as we have already been able to place some bits of concrete groyne at the place where the initial damage occurred and so there is some protection there,” he said.

“There will be some noise and disruption, but we hope people will understand how necessary this work is to protect not just the prom but the whole area, which could suffer significantly.”

Officials from Suffolk Coastal are negotiating with Defra for a £5 million grant for new sea defences to give long-term protection.

Weblink: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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