Celebrations as flood work completed

SEVENTY thousand tonnes of rock and 500,000 tonnes of sand and shingle have brought a double boost to one of the region's most popular seaside towns.

Richard Cornwell

SEVENTY thousand tonnes of rock and 500,000 tonnes of sand and shingle have brought a double boost to one of the region's most popular seaside towns.

Felixstowe's most low-lying area is now protected from flooding for the next century, with a spin-off from the £12 million sea defence scheme being a new sandy shore to attract more visitors.

The resort is now looking forward to welcoming even more visitors next summer - to enjoy its revitalised beach.


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To mark the completion of the project, a plaque on a large piece of rock was unveiled today at the top of Orford Road by Jim Bidwell, chairman of Suffolk Coastal council, and Tony Coe, chairman of the regional flood defence group.

Mr Bidwell said the new defences - 21 fish-tail rock groynes - had transformed the beach, which had previously featured dilapidated century-old concrete breakwaters, severe erosion, and a shored-up prom.

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“This new beach is now a major benefit to the town, visitors and local businesses,” he said.

“We expect to see a lot more people along this stretch of the prom enjoying this wonderful beach.

“These defences will ensure the wellbeing of residents and the general wellbeing of Felixstowe over the next 100 years and will protect nearly 1,000 homes, 500 businesses and the town's major employer, the port.”

Mr Coe, who lives in Felixstowe, praised the team work which had brought together a variety of bodies to plan, secure the finance and build the defences.

“This is a scheme that has not been without its problems, not least of which was obtaining the necessary funding to progress it. The outcome is one that will bring benefits to residents and visitors to Felixstowe alike,” he said.

The Environment Agency managed and paid for the project, working in partnership with Suffolk Coastal council, design consultants, and contractors Team Van Oord, who had a number of challenges to overcome during the construction.

Bert Groenewoud , of the contractors, said: “The team had to cope with the discovery of a 500kg bomb on the beach and having the Royal Navy lose it.

“During that time, the delivery of rock shipments from France had to be changed as the exclusion zones were moved and the rock barge had to anchor at a number of different locations off the coast for a while.”

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