New beach scheme under way

MILLIONS of pounds more needs to be spent protecting Felixstowe from the waves - and preliminary work is under way on the next big scheme.

MILLIONS of pounds more needs to be spent protecting Felixstowe from the waves - and preliminary work is under way on the next big scheme.

Even though contractors have just completed £10 million of new rock groynes and replenished beaches at the southern end of the resort, community leaders say they cannot afford to stand still.

The main central section of the seaside town's coast is next in line for major work, and some bolstering may be needed for defences in Old Felixstowe.

Suffolk Coastal deputy leader Andy Smith said preliminary work was already under way with consultants.

He said: “We are starting work on the tenders for the central area because achieving funding can be a long process, as we have already learned.

“This work will take place from the War Memorial to the Cobbold's Point area. It's the next phase in our work to protect our coastline and will be very important to the town.”

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In addition, work on the expansion of Felixstowe port will give further protection to the town, providing higher quays to stop flood water threatening from the River Orwell and harbour.

The central area runs from the War Memorial in Undercliff Road West north to Undercliff Road East and includes the beaches alongside the Spa Pavilion theatre and its gardens.

Probably more than £5 million will need to be spent with a scheme to improve Cobbold's Point, where there is a big drop to the beach and rocks shore up the prom, remove old groynes and replace them with new ones, plus beach replenishment.

Central Felixstowe is unusual in that a large proportion of the benefits of undertaking the work is related to the value of tourism to the town and not to the value of property threatened by long-term erosion.

Consultants say defences between Clifflands and Jacob's Ladder are in a “serviceable condition” but could be undermined in the future if beach levels drop.

Are you confident Felixstowe's new defences will prevent flooding? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk