Bawdsey protection works underway

WORK is today underway on the second phase of an operation to provide emergency sea defences to help protect Bawdsey's East Lane cliffs.

WORK is today underway on the second phase of an operation to provide emergency sea defences to help protect Bawdsey's East Lane cliffs.

The Bawdsey area has seen dramatic erosion with around 16 metres of coast lost over the past two years, and a Martello Tower and homes are under threat from the sea.

The work will reinforce the headland south of the Napoleonic fortress and repair the earth bank and rock barrier nearer to East Lane.

Some 850 tonnes of rocks from the Environment Agency will be used, plus other rock which was formerly part of old defences and reclaimed from the sea, and giant sand-filled bags transported and supplied by landowners.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is paying for the labour and plant hire, helped by cash from Bawdsey and Alderton Parish Councils.

The urgent work is being done through a partnership between Suffolk Coastal, the Environment Agency, Bawdsey, Alderton and Hollesley Parish Councils, the East Lane Trust and landowners.

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District councillor Andy Smith said: “Everyone who knows the importance of East Lane is working together urgently to find both the short and long-term solutions.

“In the middle of December we placed tonnes of rocks to help divert some of the force of the waves and this is the second and more important part of this emergency action.

“The goal this week is to provide a temporary defence that will see us through the next few months until a proposed permanent scheme can get underway in the autumn.”

He said there was now a real threat to low-lying land in East Lane, Bawsdey, Alderton and Hollesley.

He said: “This situation has really united the community. We have all been working hard to produce a local answer to the funding gap caused because there is not enough money set aside nationally for coastal defence work.

“The emergency works over the next few weeks should buy us the time to safeguard East Lane until the autumn when a scheme providing long-term protection can be put in place.”

Members of the community are to take part in helping to fill and put in place hundreds of the large sand bags.

N Do you think enough is being done to protect Suffolk's coast? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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