Sea defences reinforced

THOUSANDS of tonnes of rock are being placed along a sea wall to plug a gap where it is feared the sea could break through this winter.The huge granite chunks, each weighing three to six tonnes, are being placed next to the golf course between Old Felixstowe and Felixstowe Ferry to stop the links being flooded by a severe storm.

THOUSANDS of tonnes of rock are being placed along a sea wall to plug a gap where it is feared the sea could break through this winter.

The huge granite chunks, each weighing three to six tonnes, are being placed next to the golf course between Old Felixstowe and Felixstowe Ferry to stop the links being flooded by a severe storm.

The threat was exposed by high tides earlier this month and the Environment Agency decided action should be taken immediately.

The rock – around 3,000 tonnes in total – is being brought by barge from Norway, off-loaded at Lowestoft on to smaller barges which can get close in to the shore and deliver it. A digger then manoeuvres the rock into position.

Alan Smith, operations delivery manager for the agency, said the work would take about three weeks and was costing around £90,000.

He said the recent high tides had caused some damage to the embankment alongside the defences leading down to the Ferry.

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The agency had liaised with the harbourmaster and fishermen and would be working as the tide and weather allowed.

The main defences which protect the golf course are a 1,430 feet long stepped concrete sea wall built in 1967 with a promenade on top.

The state of the walkway leading from Clifflands car park to the fishing hamlet has been causing concern.

Brenda Cooke, of Ipswich, who owns one of the beach huts at the hamlet with his sister, said infilling with sand and work to remove trip hazards had made it impossible for motorised disabled wheelchairs to use it now.

"It is so soft now that people sink into it when they are walking – we have seen people go down on to the beach and walk along, or down onto the golf course, and then get back up again further on to avoid the stretch," she said.

Meanwhile, calls have been made for signs to be put up to warn people about the dangers of walking out on to the sandbanks at low tide.

Gillian Moseley, secretary of the South Hill Residents' Association, said she was amazed to see people fishing from the sand bar.

"I could see people out there with small children which seemed very dangerous to me. My worry is that will make other people feel it is safe to go out there and they need to know the dangers of the tides," she said.

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