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Sea defence work progressing well

PUBLISHED: 09:34 22 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

GOOD progress is being made on work to stop part of Felixstowe's popular promenade collapsing into the sea in storms this winter.

Enormous rocks have been placed on the beach in front of the walkway to stop further erosion of the shore and to protect the prom's foundations.

GOOD progress is being made on work to stop part of Felixstowe's popular promenade collapsing into the sea in storms this winter.

Enormous rocks have been placed on the beach in front of the walkway to stop further erosion of the shore and to protect the prom's foundations.

The drop from the prom to the sand has been growing over the past few months and the reasons for it have mystified coastal defence engineers.

The situation became so serious it was feared that gale-lashed waves could wreak havoc unless action was taken.

Andy Smith, deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal council and cabinet member for planning, said the rocks weighed thousands of tonnes in total and should keep the sea at bay.

"Last year's £3 million sea defence programme saw improved coastal defences that have successfully buffered the rest of the adjacent seafront from the worst excesses that the weather can throw at it, but this small section around Cobbold's Point is a real concern," he said.

"We decided that urgent action was needed to protect the foundations of the promenade for the immediate future from the constant impact of the waves and from any storms.

"The rocks will not look particularly attractive but it is necessary to take some action to protect the prom immediately.

"Hopefully the beach will stabilise in the future either of its own accord, or as a result of further work, in which case we can remove the rocks and use them elsewhere."

Suffolk Coastal is spending £150,000 on the emergency measures for the section of the East Beach in front of the Fludyers pub in Undercliff Road East.

The major work of bringing in the rocks and putting them in place is going well and is expected to be completed by early December, after which a full inspection will be carried out to make sure the area is safe for the public.

It is hoped people will realise the rocks are likely to be wet and slippery, and to avoid walking or climbing over them. Warning signs will be put up, and railings may be installed if necessary.

A coastal defence strategy is already being drawn up by the council's consultants Halcrow, which will include advice on longer-term beach management necessary from Cobbold's Point to Landguard Point.

This will include examining in detail the new Cobbold's Point sea defences – which include two enormous wishbone-shaped reefs – to see how they are performing and to try to solve the mystery of the erosion on the East Beach.

The current work by contractors Jacksons is in addition to work carried out last month to reinforce and underpin one of the three concrete groynes in the affected area.

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