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Landguard safety fears again

PUBLISHED: 20:24 23 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:58 03 March 2010

PART of one of Felixstowe's biggest tourist attractions has today again been cordoned off for safety reasons – just three weeks after it was re-opened.

PART of one of Felixstowe's biggest tourist attractions has today again been cordoned off for safety reasons – just three weeks after it was re-opened.

Fears that a section of the John Bradfield Viewing Area could collapse into the sea have emerged again after the latest monitoring of the beach below showed little improvement.

As a precaution, Suffolk Coastal council has fenced off the front row of 20 spaces of the car park overlooking the mile-wide Harwich Harbour and Felixstowe Port.

A survey of the situation has shown that the shore has not yet stabilised following the buffeting it received from winter storms when gale-lashed seas and fluctuations in the beach levels damaged a section of river wall.

Heavy seas battered sheet piling and pulled it away from the concrete wall, and then sucked material out from beneath it, causing part of the prom to collapse.

This has caused concerns to the port, which owns the viewing area, and English Heritage, which owns Landguard Fort alongside.

At a meeting on site involving many parties with an interest in the area, it was agreed to put in hand works to stabilise the situation as soon as possible.

This would allow further time to consider and develop joint proposals for improving the sea defences in the most effective way for the longer term.

Doreen Savage, chairman of the Felixstowe resort regeneration forum said: "We all greatly regret the inconvenience caused but our first priority is to ensure the safety of the general public and we hope that it will not be too long before the area can be re-opened."

Meanwhile, the Harwich-Shotley-Felixstowe foot-ferry would continue to operate its daily scheduled service.

The Viewing Area, at the end of Viewpoint Road, is used by 500,000 people a year. It was built in 1992 at a cost of £86,000 and is regarded by well-travelled shipwatchers as the best in Europe.

It features a 60-space car park with prom, seats, and information boards, and replaced a scrubby bit of shore which had parking for just half a dozen cars.

WEBLINK: www.english-heritage.org.uk

www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk


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