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New fence to make seafront safer

PUBLISHED: 15:03 13 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

EMERGENCY fencing has been put up on the edge of Felixstowe's promenade to stop people falling onto the beach below and suffering serious injury.

Erosion has left a drop to the shore of more than six feet on the resort's East Beach and there have been fears that an unsuspecting visitor could plunge onto the shingle.

EMERGENCY fencing has been put up on the edge of Felixstowe's promenade to stop people falling onto the beach below and suffering serious injury.

Erosion has left a drop to the shore of more than six feet on the resort's East Beach and there have been fears that an unsuspecting visitor could plunge onto the shingle.

Parents have been warned to keep an eye on their children who may run off the edge or go too near it.

The orange mesh plastic fencing – believed to have been erected by Suffolk Coastal council after growing local concern – has been put up to warn people of the hazard rather than act as a barrier.

Sea defence engineers are confident the beach will rise to former levels in time and say shore levels do tend to fluctuate in this area.

Erosion at the East Beach next to Cobbold's Point in Undercliff Road East has proved cyclical in the past with at times a big drop from the prom and at other times just a few inches from prom to shingle.

But the situation has been growing worse for sometime and since last summer, when a £3 million sea defence scheme was completed at Cobbold's Point it has become quite serious.

During the project, thousands of tonnes of sand and shingle was pumped ashore to replenish beaches, but this has all been swept away by the waves.

Concern over the drop to the beach comes at a time when a number of dangers have been highlighted on the shore.

These have included huge lumps of concrete which are hidden by tides but stand close to the shore and could be a hazard for swimmers. The boulders are believed to be part of groynes which are rapidly deteriorating and breaking up.

Erosion has left some groynes as potentially lethal climbing obstacles for children, while some have gaps large enough beneath for a child to crawl through or get trapped.

Suffolk Coastal has neither the budget or the intention to remove obstacles at the moment, but has put up signs to warn people to be careful and avoid the groynes. It council has also employed consultants Halcrow to investigate the problems to see what solutions might be possible.

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