Emergency work at seafront

MORE emergency work is to be done to protect 1,600 seafront homes in south Felixstowe from flooding this winter, it was revealed today.Engineers are keeping a close eye on the area after high tides ripped beach huts from their footings, smashed and swept away a new set of steps to the shore, and lifted and broke sections of the prom.

By Richard Cornwell

MORE emergency work is to be done to protect 1,600 seafront homes in south Felixstowe from flooding this winter, it was revealed today.

Engineers are keeping a close eye on the area after high tides ripped beach huts from their footings, smashed and swept away a new set of steps to the shore, and lifted and broke sections of the prom.

Another crack has also appeared in the surface of the prom - the 30 yard two-inch gap being very similar to the one which began the collapse of part of the walkway last summer.

Winds are expected to continue from the north and north-east today and tomorrow - which could mean high tides again crashing onto the prom and into the gardens - and weathermen are warning of possible heavy snow showers in many parts of Suffolk both days.

However, the snow is not expected to lay and temperatures will rise by the weekend.

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A Suffolk Coastal spokesman said engineers would be making a full inspection of the whole of Felixstowe seafront today and repairs to the prom would be carried out as soon as possible.

He said: “We were already intending to carry out further protection works by the end of March, with the emphasis this time being to reinforce the groynes.

“The proposed work would be along South Felixstowe, and also the central seafront area north of the Spa.”

Councillors last summer spent £364,000 - a bill which will be paid by the government - on placing 3,800 tons of rock along 350 metres of shore in Sea Road after part of the prom started to collapse.

But they warned this was only a “sticking plaster” and may not last through the winter storms.

If the rocks put in place to bolster the prom fail, then homes between the leisure centre and Manor End, plus tourist attractions, businesses and the port, could be at risk from flooding.

Total work needed is set to cost around £11m, though the Environment Agency will pay £5m.

DEFRA would not give money for the permanent scheme - new series of groynes and beach replenishment - because its budget was spent on other priority projects around the country's coast.

Negotiations are still taking place to see if the money can be provided this year.

Are you worried about flooding this winter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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