Flood risk initiative set for resort

NEW homes on Felixstowe seafront will have to be built half-a-metre higher off the ground - to avoid being flooded by the sea.

NEW homes on Felixstowe seafront will have to be built half-a-metre higher off the ground - to avoid being flooded by the sea.

Experts say rising sea levels due to climate change could see the resort's south seafront being swamped in a tidal surge.

The Environment Agency is not against use of part of the 17-acre site for housing but says the 158 homes planned must be raised high enough to avoid any floodwater to ensure residents are safe.

The agency wants the ground floor level of the homes raised by 502mm to 5.02m above sea level. It will mean three extra steps up to the front doors of most of the homes.

An agency spokesman said: “The proposed raising of the ground floor level of the whole residential development by 502mm from 4.5m to 5.02m will mean that people inside the 55 houses and 103 apartments will remain safe and carpets will remain dry up to a one in 200 flood event.

“In the one in 1,000 'extreme' flood event, the ground floor can be flooded with a flood depth of 0.23m.

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“However, safe refuge is achievable in the houses since the first floor level will be approximately 7.86m (above sea level), which is significantly higher than the 'extreme' flood level.

“It will be necessary to have in place adequate and fit for purpose flood warning and evacuation plans for this development.”

Suffolk Coastal council is working with JS Bloor on the �25 million Martello Park development.

The need to revise the housing design has meant a new planning application, recommended for approval on April 2.

The homes will cover 5.6 acres. The rest of the land will be used for a �1.8m maritime park, with a variety of play equipment for all ages, picnic areas and seats, cycle paths, gardens, 59 beach huts, kiosks, landscaping, public car parks and a new toilet block.

Sale of houses will also generate further funds to refurbish the Martello Tower and kick-start plans to use it for an arts, heritage or education project.

Will the development be good for Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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