Flood defence plans on show

DIFFERENT ways to improve the flood defences protecting Ipswich will go on show in a public exhibition today .The Environment Agency has drawn up flood defence options for the rivers Orwell and Gipping, which run through the centre of the town, through the industrial and residential areas and the port.

DIFFERENT ways to improve the flood defences protecting Ipswich will go on show in a public exhibition today .

The Environment Agency has drawn up flood defence options for the rivers Orwell and Gipping, which run through the centre of the town, through the industrial and residential areas and the port.

The town is currently protected from flooding by an 11km-long system of defences, with some dating back 30 years and needing renewal in the next five years.

The agency has narrowed the plans down to two choices and people are now being consulted about their preferred option.

Rod Hicks, Environment Agency project manager, said: "One of them is to maintain the existing line of defences. They will be replaced when they need repair and they would probably be raised as well. Some of them would be raised quite highly.

"The other option is to build a barrier across the New Cut."

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As raising the defences by about two metres will affect the views of the rivers, the agency's preferred option is the barrier.

However, it will cost about £4million more and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is unlikely to fund it.

Mr Hicks added: "At Ipswich we have an unusual situation where the option selection is finely balanced between two different alternatives. Public opinions will assist the agency in making this decision."

The exhibition will take place at the Council Chamber, in the Town Hall, Ipswich, between 1pm and 7pm.

Environment Agency staff will be on-hand to answer any questions and record comments about the options.