Search

Safety measures essential for attraction

PUBLISHED: 22:54 26 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

DEVELOPERS vying to build a multi-million pound tourist attraction on land next to where 40 people died in floods have been told they must put in place costly measures to keep the sea at bay.

DEVELOPERS vying to build a multi-million pound tourist attraction on land next to where 40 people died in floods have been told they must put in place costly measures to keep the sea at bay.

The Environment Agency says if the chosen bidder for the land at Felixstowe refuses to put in place defences, it will oppose the project.

Residents say the low-lying 17-acre south seafront site has been partially flooded on occasions in recent years when storm-lashed seas have overtopped the sea wall, and the land is often soaked by sea spray in winter.

They fear it will be a dangerous site for homes – which will be built on some of the land to offset the cost of the leisure scheme – because of the risk of flooding from the sea.

The Environment Agency says the land between Manor Terrace and Orford Road has a one in 200 year chance of being flooded, with the risk of inundation via the port and Trimley Marshes.

That was the route the 1953 North Sea surge when flood waters claimed the lives of 40 people in homes across the road from the site.

Council officials say the chosen partnership developer for the south seafront should carry out a risk assessment, pay for flood defence measures and their future maintenance.

Assistant chief executive Bruce Laws told the policy and resources committee that both potential developers had been made aware of the need to liaise closely with the agency throughout the project.

"The agency has pointed out to us the things which any potential developer should be looking at and those things will be taken into account when an application is made for development," he said.

"Both prospective developers have been in contact with the agency. They know the south seafront is within an area identified as a flood plain, but there are also 800 other properties and a considerable area in that flood plain and some of that area is lower than the south seafront."

Councillors have interviewed representatives from both companies interested in teaming up with Suffolk Coastal to build homes and a maritime attraction –including a themed feature trail, play equipment, pedestrian and cycleways, toilets, landscaping, car parking, and an outdoor events arena – on the site.

Members of the south seafront land sub committee will meet again on October 17 to discuss details of the two options and decide which, if either, to accept.

Residents are keen to see real benefits for their area but will vigorously fight any plans for a jet-ski launch site or for the demolition of the Herman de Stern building, the former West End Theatre.

Weblink: www.envirobiz.co.uk

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists