Emergency flood work cost £364K

EMERGENCY works to protect southern Felixstowe from flooding after the prom started to collapse cost around £364,000, it was revealed today.Council chiefs say taxpayers' cash will be used to pay the bill initially - but the money can be recovered from Defra, though it is not yet sure when.

EMERGENCY works to protect southern Felixstowe from flooding after the prom started to collapse cost around £364,000, it was revealed today.

Council chiefs say taxpayers' cash will be used to pay the bill initially - but the money can be recovered from Defra, though it is not yet sure when.

The emergency works - more than 3,800 of rock placed along 350 metres of shore in Sea Road - are only a “sticking plaster” and may not last the winter, though no decision has yet been made on funding for a £6 million permanent scheme.

Details of the cost of the emergency work is disclosed in the full report on the repairs.

The report, due to be discussed by Suffolk Coastal's cabinet on September 5, says the government's refusal to give grant aid for new rock groynes leaves 1,616 homes and the port at risk of flooding.

Negotiations are still continuing with Defra, but is looks unlikely that a start will now be made on the full works this year.

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Deputy council leader Andy Smith said the emergency works had progressed well and had enabled the prom, which was closed for some weeks, to be re-opened by early-July, well in time for the big summer influx of visitors.

“The surface of the prom is normally maintained by Suffolk County Council. However, the cause of the major surface failure was clearly the collapse of the sea wall and its repair should be considered an attributable cost to the scheme,” he said.

“In addition, some slight damage was caused to the prom arising from its use as the principal haul route (for carrying the rocks to the beach).”

The county council was extremely co-operative throughout.

“Trial holes were taken through suspect areas of the prom to ensure that all voids under the surface had been identified,” added Mr Smith.

As part of the works, the Shore Break Café had to be demolished. There had been great concern over the café and whether it would survive and its position on the most badly-eroded section of beach meant it had to be removed to allow the works to properly protect the area.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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