Doubts over coastal work

A CAMPAIGNER today cast doubt on whether Felixstowe's new £10 million coastal defences will work - claiming it will not protect the low-lying southern part of the resort from a sea surge.

A CAMPAIGNER today cast doubt on whether Felixstowe's new £10 million coastal defences will work - claiming it will not protect the low-lying southern part of the resort from a sea surge.

Civil engineer Norman Thompson said higher sea walls were needed to protect homes, and an offshore reef to stop eroded material being swept into the shipping channel serving Felixstowe port.

But council chiefs are confident the scheme will succeed and dismissed as an “urban myth” talk in the town that material from the beaches ends up in the shipping lane.

Mr Thompson, who worked on sea defence projects, said: “If a sea surge happens - like it almost did last winter - then these new rock groynes will do nothing to stop it because the water will come right over the top of them.


You may also want to watch:


“The stepped walls at The Dip and Manor End needs to be properly linked up with a new and higher concrete wall to give us proper protection.”

He believed sand and shingle from the beaches was ending up in the shipping lane, but felt an offshore reef on the channel's landward side would contain material and allow the waves to put it back on the shore.

Most Read

But Andy Smith, Suffolk Coastal council deputy leader, said the point of the work was to provide long-term protection to the flood wall protecting the town from the risk of a flood surge.

“Work on the scheme has not yet been completed so it is disappointing to see people attempting to criticise it already,” he said.

“The series of fish-tailed groynes appear to be doing their job, and the works were designed by our expert consultants working in partnership with the Environment Agency to put in place a solution that would protect south Felixstowe.”

Mr Smith said it was “time to kill off once and for all the Felixstowe urban myth that its beach is disappearing into the shipping channel”.

“I was fortunate enough to spend a day on the dredger and saw that the material collected is a very fine silt and that there is no evidence at all of sand or any other materials from our beaches appearing in the shipping channel,” he said.

“This confirms information from a series of studies that the problem with our beach is shingle moving along the coast, and nothing to do with the shipping channel or the dredging works.”

Do you think Felixstowe will be safe from flooding this winter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter