Felixstowe: Stormy seas sweep away new beach

ANXIOUS beach hut owners are today keeping a close eye on the waves after fierce gale-lashed high tides swept away a section of new beach.

Part of Felixstowe’s new �10million sea defences were washed away as the waves pounded the shore.

It created a long shelf with around a two-feet drop between new granite groynes near the Spa Pavilion.

Hut owner Gill Mason said she was shocked by the loss of the beach, just weeks after contractors completed the section of shore.

“We now have about six feet of flat beach outside our hut to sit on, and then it plunges down to the sea,” she said.

“The shingle has been washed away and collapsed. It’s all happened in the last 48 hours. Where the shingle has gone there are pieces of concrete rubble and shards of rock exposed.

“We thought the new rock groynes would mean the tide would not come as far up the beach in future and I am quite shocked to see how far up it has come.”

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Mrs Mason’s family has owned a hut near the theatre for more than 50 years. She said until a couple of years ago the level of the shingle had not altered in that time.

Replenishing the beach with imported sand and shingle was a major feature of the sea defence project. Coastal engineers, though, expect some of the material to disappear in the first storms to test the scheme as beaches settle and find their own levels.

Andy Smith, cabinet member responsible for sea defences at Suffolk Coastal, said: “We have to wait and see what happens but if the beach huts are threatened we would take action.

“Beaches are always moving – they are never static, and they go up and down. The levels will improve and over time the beach will find its own level.”

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