Coastal villages will not be abandoned
EAST Anglia's coastal villages will not be abandoned to the sea the government has insited.The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) stressed it was committed to "sustainable' protection for people and property.
EAST Anglia's coastal villages will not be abandoned to the sea the government has insited.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) stressed it was committed to "sustainable' protection for people and property.
It follows reports yesterday that ministers were prepared to evacuate east coast settlements in the next 30 years because it is not regarded as cost-effective to save them
A national newspaper said leaked details of the Government's coastal flooding and erosion risk assessment showed parts of Norfolk and Suffolk are considered beyond saving.
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The study, which is being conducted by the Environment Agency and will report next June, uses a points-based system to decide which areas will get new defences and which will be abandoned.
Pilot plans have already earmarked communities for destruction, including Bawdsey according to the newspaper.
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Other historical sites such as Suffolk's Martello Towers would be left to slip into the sea, the paper says, with thousands of acres of farmland also surrendered.
The report follows last week's alert over the largest tidal surge to strike Britain in 50 years putting the whole of the east coast under threat.
John Gummer, Suffolk Coastal MP and a former Environment Secretary, said: “We have been defending this coastline of thousands of years and this is the first government to decide that we will give in.
“It is immoral not to defend our land today, but to leave it to our children to defend in 50 years time.”
But a spokesman for Defra said: “It is nonsense to suggest that the Government has a general policy of abandoning coastal villages to the sea. The Government is committed to sustainable protection for people and property.
“From April 2008 the Environment Agency will have a strategic overview of all capital funding for coastal defence to ensure that works are appropriately prioritised, balancing national interests and local needs.”