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Felixstowe's erosion problems worsen

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

HEAVY seas have meant mixed blessings for Felixstowe's beaches over the past few days - with good and bad news for sea defence engineers.

Erosion has continued on part of the East beach, leaving a ten feet drop to the shore from the prom, but elsewhere beach levels have risen with huge amounts of sand swept in by the waves.

HEAVY seas have meant mixed blessings for Felixstowe's beaches over the past few days – with good and bad news for sea defence engineers.

Erosion has continued on part of the East beach, leaving a ten feet drop to the shore from the prom, but elsewhere beach levels have risen with huge amounts of sand swept in by the waves.

But there are very real fears now that the promenade in Undercliff Road East could be undermined during this winter's storms unless urgent action is taken to bolster the beach.

A section between two breakwaters at the bottom of Brook Lane has been dramatically washed away.

The original wooden groynes beneath the concrete ones can now be seen, and other wooden piles have been exposed on the beach. There is still material covering the foundation of the prom at present.

In stark contrast, the beach immediately either side of the affected area – towards and round Cobbold's Point to the north and towards Bath Tap in the south – has become high and sandy.

Town and district councillor Andy Smith, ward councillor for the area, has visited the site and has voiced his concerns to officers at Suffolk Coastal council about the situation.

The town council is also calling for dangerous objects, especially those exposed by the erosion, to be removed.

The council's director of planning and leisure, Jeremy Schofield, is understood to have held an urgent meeting this week to look at possible action.

Engineers say it is still too early to say whether the £3 million coastal defence scheme at Cobbold's Point has been a success. It was only completed a year ago and is still being monitored.

Early signs, especially the build-up of beach around the point, where huge new wishbone-shaped reefs have been built, and between the new rock groynes at Bath Tap, has been encouraging.

But engineers have to look at the knock-on effects on the rest of the seafront to see whether the scheme has changed the movement and build-up of sand and shingle and caused other problems.

Suffolk Coastal has commissioned consultants Halcrow to study the area from Cobbold's Point to Landguard and the experts have just completed their first stage report, outlining the issues and first consultation process.

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