Flood work hit by cash delays

FURTHER temporary work may be needed to protect 1,600 seafront homes in Felixstowe because the Government has still not agreed to cough up £6million for new sea defences.

FURTHER temporary work may be needed to protect 1,600 seafront homes in Felixstowe because the Government has still not agreed to cough up £6million for new sea defences.

Community leaders are waiting to hear whether the works in the south of the resort will be included in next year's national budget.

If they are, work still may not start until 2008 and the current temporary protection may not last.

If the rocks put in place to bolster the prom fail, homes between the town's leisure centre and Manor End, plus tourist attractions, businesses and the port, could be at risk from flooding.


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Total work along the frontage is set to cost around £11m, though the Environment Agency will pay £5m.

Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Andy Smith said negotiations were still taking place with DEFRA over the scheme, which has now been delayed a year.

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He said: “It seems likely that even the agency may not have the funding until 2008 and because of that we have started looking at whether more needs to be done to further reinforce the temporary protection to the sea wall we have put in place over the last few months.

“It is of course ridiculous that once again we are having to look at expensive short-term solutions, but the Government leaves us with no choice.”

He said it was essential permanent sea defences are put in place as soon as possible and the council was looking at every possible option - including working with the Environment Agency - to achieve the financial commitment that will allow the new series of groynes and beach replenishment to get under way as soon as possible.

The emergency works carried out after the prom started to collapse last summer cost around £364,000, though this money will come from DEFRA.

Engineers have warned that the 3,800 tons of rock placed along 350 metres of shore in Sea Road are only a “sticking plaster” and may not last through the winter storms.

DEFRA would not give money for the permanent scheme last year because its budget was spent on other priority schemes around the country's coast.

WEBLINKS:

www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

www.defra.gov.uk

Are you worried about flooding in Felixstowe this winter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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