Homes bid to raise cash for sea defences

TWENTY-five new homes may be built on the edges of three villages to raise £2.2 million to rebuild sea defences needed to protect one of Suffolk's most vulnerable stretches of coastline.

TWENTY-five new homes may be built on the edges of three villages to raise £2.2 million to rebuild sea defences needed to protect one of Suffolk's most vulnerable stretches of coastline.

Three landowners and farmers are set to give the land to a new charitable trust to sell for the work at East Lane, Bawdsey, where several metres of land has been lost in the past year.

The unusual funding solution has been drawn up because of the problems in securing government grant aid.

Suffolk Coastal councillors will next week be asked to visit the potential development sites at Bawdsey, Alderton and Hollesley - the communities protected by the sea defences - to see if they will break policy by allowing the homes, and to examine the problems on the crumbling coast.


You may also want to watch:


The project will be run by the East Lane Trust, set up as a “practical and pragmatic way” to raise the funds needed, and it will give the money to Suffolk Coastal District Council or the Environment Agency to pay for the defences.

The trust wants to build 11 homes off East Lane, eight off Hollesley Road, Alderton, and six off Bushy Lane, Hollesley, on land given to the trust by A W Mortier (Farms) Ltd, P J & S A Mann, and D R Mann and Co.

Most Read

If permission is given, the land could be sold to developers for between £1.9m and £2.2m. Consultants have estimated the cost of rebuilding the defences is around £2.2m.

Experts say the East Lane defences have reached the end of their life. If they fail, a Martello Tower and some World War Two buildings would be swept away, and hundreds of acres of farmland flooded.

There could also be major changes to the defences to Shingle Street and potentially the radical altering of the entrance to the Alde/Ore Estuary.

A report to councillors said: “If successful, this enabling development will secure the long term future of East Lane in this case for at least 20 years and with future maintenance of the defences up to 50 years.”

The problem is the homes sites lie outside the village boundaries in countryside designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and so councillors need to agree to break their policies.

Parish councils are broadly in agreement, though there has been concern from the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit over the breach of policy, and some objections from residents.

The county council has objected because countywide planning policy seeks to limit development of small communities.

Do you think building homes to pay for sea defences is a good idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter