Sea defence work could start in spring

URGENTLY needed new sea defences at Felixstowe will not be built before this winter's storms - though officials say work could start next spring if government stumps up the cash.

URGENTLY needed new sea defences at Felixstowe will not be built before this winter's storms - though officials say work could start next spring if government stumps up the cash.

Proposals to protect the resort from the ravages of the sea have undergone a detailed analysis to ensure the scheme -likely to cost around £10 million - will work.

But it will still mean the seafront area will have to keep a nervous watch on the waves with fears of flooding throughout another winter before the project is built.

The Environment Agency, working in partnership with Suffolk Coastal council, has carried out a review of the proposals for the area from the war memorial to Landguard, though the project drawn up to protect the area differs little from the previous scheme.


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Officials said the review was needed because the scheme had been put together four years ago and there was a need to reassess the changes to the coast, and the impact of factors such as weather patterns and climate change.

The new defences will protect the resort for the next century and will be built 1.1m higher than anticipated to cater for rising sea levels.

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The scheme - which will protect 960 homes, 468 businesses and tourist attractions, the port, beaches and Landguard Fort - will involve 20 rock groynes.

These will be 40m long and built 105m apart. They will be covered initially with sand and shingle dredged from the sea but experts are confident they will help build the beach into a flat, open shore with the rock groynes buried beneath.

“Approval of the revised strategy is expected by January 2008 and this will be used to bid for funds required for the start of the urgently needed works to the frontage between the war memorial and Landguard Common,” said a project spokesman.

“Subject to funding, construction of the scheme will commence in spring 2008 and be completed by autumn 2008.”

Eighteen months ago there was great anxiety as huge cracks appeared in Felixstowe's prom as beach levels dropped dramatically and the sea began to scour out material from the base of the wall.

More than £500,000 has been spent on putting tonnes of rocks along 400m of beach as a makeshift defences until the full works can be done.

Do you think Felixstowe's makeshift sea defences will last another winter? Are you worried? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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