Closure of popular viewing area
IT'S going to get worse before it gets better.That was the forecast for shipping enthusiasts today as council chiefs ordered the closure of Felixstowe's popular viewing area, which it is feared could collapse.
IT'S going to get worse before it gets better.
That was the forecast for shipping enthusiasts today as council chiefs ordered the closure of Felixstowe's popular viewing area, which it is feared could collapse.
But while it was bad news for those who use the Viewing Area, good news is on the horizon – because the closure is to enable repair work to take place.
A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council said contractors would begin immediately on work to restore the beach in front of the John Bradfield Viewing Area and Landguard Fort.
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"The scheme will involve replacing the shingle beach up to the level that existed when the Viewing Area was constructed in 1993," he said.
"Both the Port of Felixstowe and English Heritage are eager to see the works completed before the worst of the winter weather.
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"In order for the contractors to bring their vehicles and equipment onto site it has been necessary to close the Viewing Area from November 7 onwards.
"It is not yet known how long the closure will last but Suffolk Coastal as manager of the Viewing Area is keen to re-open parts at least as soon as it is safe to do so."
One third of the area, sandwiched between Landguard Fort and Landguard Terminal, has been closed and fenced off with seven feet high metal barricades because of the fear of collapse since May.
Severe erosion of the beaches beneath the car park – visited by nearly half a million people a year – has been caused by two small shingle islands suddenly forming off Landguard Point.
In addition, a gap in the steel pilings no bigger than a letter-box has sucked material out from behind the sea wall, causing part of a promenade to break up.
It has meant thousands this summer were unable to enjoy their favourite past-time of shipwatching, and Samantha Dorling who runs the Crow's Nest snack bar has seen her trade tumble.
While contractors replenish the beaches in front of the area, other workers will destroy the two small shingle islands, or knolls, in the hope that this will then encourage that material to spread along the beaches.