Life's a beach as new shore unveiled

HOLIDAYMAKERS, day trippers and residents can enjoy a new beach at a resort where people have now been sunbathing, paddling and making sandcastles for more than a century.

Richard Cornwell

HOLIDAYMAKERS, day trippers and residents can enjoy a new beach at a resort where people have now been sunbathing, paddling and making sandcastles for more than a century.

Felixstowe has unveiled the first stretch of a superb new shore - which is being created with more than 500,000 tonnes of sand and shingle.

The work is part of a £10million sea defence scheme designed to protect 1,600 homes and businesses in the low-lying south of the resort.

In recent years the south beach from the pier to Landguard has been eroding steadily, old rock groynes have been damaged by storms and part of the prom collapsed.

Now the beach is back to its best, looking like it did on old postcards from the Victorian and Edwardian era when there were bathing machines on the pebbles.

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It is smooth, flat and high, and level with the promenade.

Contractors Team Van Oord have been working around the clock to spread the new beach material, part of 200,000-plus cubic metres being dredged from the Thames Estuary, dumped off Felixstowe and then pumped ashore to an area near Manor Terrace through a 2.1km pipeline.

Lorries and bulldozers have been transporting and spreading the material along the shore to create the new beach.

The contractors pledged they would take down the metal fencing and re-open areas of beach as each section is completed and have been delighted to keep their promise so that people can make use of the shore during the summer.

The team is now working further along the beach off Sea Road near the funfair, building more of the 21 T-shaped rock groynes, strengthening the prom, and also working at Landguard alongside the nature reserve.

Environment Agency project manager Andrew Rouse said everyone was very pleased to have the stretch of new beach open.

“We still have to return to put the marker beacons at the end of each fishtail but that won't take too long” he said.

“In the meantime, the new beach is open and we will open other areas as we are able and they are completed - it will be a sort of staggered opening along the beach south.”

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

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