Fears over pace of erosion amid plans for new defences to protect landmark
- Credit: Archant
A parish council chairman has called for erosion in his area to be made a greater priority before a famous landmark and nearby homes are threatened by the sea.
Andrew Block, chair of Bawdsey Parish Council, spoke after plans were submitted to protect one of Suffolk’s best-known sights, the historic Bawdsey Manor, where the radar vital to winning the Battle of Britain was developed during the Second World War.
The manor’s owner PGL has applied to East Suffolk Council for permission to install 200m of revetments (sloping sea defences), four new rock groynes and replenish shingle beaches in front of the building, which sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Mr Block said the pace of change along the stretch of shore that includes East Lane was such that while it was not possible to make a definitive timescale, buildings could be threatened in a few years.
He added: “We recognise that unlike somewhere like Felixstowe where you have got the sea threatening a conurbation, we are basically just a small village and therefore we don’t attract any government grants for coastal protection.
“But we are very concerned about what is happening at the moment. It is not so much the manor that is in immediate danger at the moment as the area in front of it, although if the cliffs keep falling, the manor will become at some risk.”
Plans have previously been submitted to protect the famous Pulhamite cliffs, a series of grottos, walkways, rockeries and other features.
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The shore had previously suffered from beach loss, existing defences had deteriorated and there had been extensive erosion of the cliffs.
The sea had found a way of getting around existing defences to cause further problems.
Proposals drawn up for the area included sheet piling to the face of existing piles, new toe sheet piling, sealing the new wall to the Pulhamite cliffs, rock armour, and new flights of steps and handrails.
Some exposed older, unsightly and dangerous defences would be removed.