Flooding a real possibility

FLOODING of parts of Felixstowe is a very real possibility unless new sea defences – possibly massive offshore reefs – are built.Results of a new study show that the town's Manor Wall and defences west of Landguard Fort are in a "poor state of repair".

FLOODING of parts of Felixstowe is a very real possibility unless new sea defences – possibly massive offshore reefs – are built.

Results of a new study show that the town's Manor wall and defences west of Landguard Fort are in a "poor state of repair".

If these failed – as they could at any time – the southern area of the town would face the risk of flooding.

Consultants Halcrow, commissioned by the Environment Agency and Suffolk Coastal council, unveiled options for the future protection of the resort at a special exhibition at Felixstowe Leisure Centre.

The manned exhibition is open again today from 2pm until 7pm.

Andy Schofield, project manager for Halcrow, said it was important the public gave their views on what type of defences they would like to see.

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"It has already been decided that as far as Felixstowe is concerned we should hold the line, that is to continue to protect the coast," he said.

"The options we are presenting have already been through a technical, environmental and economic assessment.

"But it is important that we know what the public feel about the different options and we are very interested in their opinions.

"It is not an exercise we are just going through – the public view will be taken into account when final decisions are made."

Options for the southern area of the resort include big offshore reefs to encourage beach levels to grow naturally, or Y-shaped or fishtail rock groynes.

The work at Manor End is the most urgent, but work will also need to be done in the next five years to replace the sheetpile wall at the viewing area, increase the height of quay faces at the old foot ferry terminal, and increase defences near the port oil terminal.

Within ten years, the massive stepped concrete sea wall at Landguard, which was only built a decade ago, will need replacing.

n What do you think? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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