Huge boulders arrive at Felixstowe

ENORMOUS boulders for new £10 million sea defences to protect Felixstowe for the next century have started arriving by sea.Residents watched in amazement as the vessel Ville rode right up onto the beach at high tide - fearing the ship had run aground.

ENORMOUS boulders for new £10 million sea defences to protect Felixstowe for the next century have started arriving by sea.

Residents watched in amazement as the vessel Ville rode right up onto the beach at high tide - fearing the ship had run aground.

It then tipped its load of rock onto the shore from huge dumpers on its deck, before pulling safely away again.

One Sea Road resident said: “It was so unexpected - I think a lot of people thought the ship had problems and had just run aground, although ships never come that close to shore.

“I have never seen a vessel like that before but it seems an excellent way of bringing the rock.”

It is understood it was the first consignment of what will be many over the next few weeks, saving countless deliveries of rock by lorry for the 20 new T-shaped groynes being built between the pier and the Manor End.

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The rocks are expected to be dumped in a number of places on the beach in Sea Road, close to where they will be shaped into the breakwaters which will help retain and build beach levels over the years ahead.

The work will be followed by beach replenishment when a special vessel will come close to the shore and spray thousands of tonnes of shingle onto the shore.

The sea defence work is being carried out by The Environment Agency and Suffolk Coastal council to protect the southern part of the resort, where 1,600 homes, businesses, tourist attractions and the port are at risk from flooding.

As well as the new rock groynes, some extra work will also be done to repair and protect the prom, which is also the sea wall.

Work will take place along a 150 metre stretch from Micklegate Road to Orford Road to put steel sheet piling in front of the prom. This will be filled behind with shingle and the work encased in concrete and stepped to the beach.

Are rock groynes the answer to Felixstowe's eroding beaches? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk