Felixstowe: Extra work in area of crumbling cliffs forces seafront gardens restoration price hike

The work at Felixstowe Seafront Gardens has halted.

The work at Felixstowe Seafront Gardens has halted. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Extensive stabilisation work needed below Felixstowe’s cliffs has been revealed as one of the reasons for a £2million increase in the cost of the restoration of the resort’s seafront gardens.

The work is needed in the Ivy Terrace area behind the Spa Pavilion, where cliffs have in the past crumbled, causing mud slides and a need for work to reshape and shore up the cliff face.

The area includes steps from the cliff top and a series of terraces dating back to Edwardian times.

Further along the cliffs, in the South Cliff Garden alongside the Town Hall, more work to the cliffs is proposed with the construction of a modern shelter.

It is hoped to restart the £4.8m restoration of the nationally-important gardens as soon as a new contract can be signed.

Suffolk Coastal leader Ray Herring said: “We have explained that, in hindsight, the original estimate for the work was too low.

“The costs have also increased, in part because the procurement process and project extended by 18 months leading to additional consultant and project management fees.

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“Also some technical aspects of design have changed and been reassessed since the original project cost estimate in 2011 leading to increased costs. For example, extensive stabilisation work is required in Garden Three.

“There has also been inflation to the material and labour costs.”

Mr Herring said over the past year while the work has been halted, changes have been made to the way the project is managed.

He said: “We have already committed ourselves to carrying out a full review into this project.

“This review will be carried out by the audit and governance committee, so members will be driving this review process and will be deciding what questions need answering.

“In recent months, we have made changes to strengthen the governance and project management of this project.

“Now our priority is to get the contract for this work awarded and to work towards the successful completion of the Seafront Gardens Restoration Project.”