Sea wall moves inches in heavy seas

PART of a Felixstowe sea wall protecting 1,600 homes moved forward three inches in heavy seas - opening up a new crack on the walkway and fuelling fears of a further collapse.

PART of a Felixstowe sea wall protecting 1,600 homes moved forward three inches in heavy seas - opening up a new crack on the walkway and fuelling fears of a further collapse.

Ironically, the gap runs right through a section where it says Beware of the Drop, warning people of the erosion problems.

High tides this week have also battered beach huts, ripping them from their footings and jostling them together, and lifted and smashed concrete sections of the prom.

Today council chiefs could not guarantee there would not be more damage this winter, but pledged to repair it as soon as it happens.

Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Andy Smith said engineers were monitoring the situation very closely, but it was already clear around £300,000 more needed to be spent on urgent work to help reinforce the wall, and also protect some of the groynes.

“We now know that the force of the waves caused part of the sea wall to move forward by three inches along a 70 yard stretch,” said Mr Smith.

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“It is an indication of the strength of the waves that all of the wall and prom that has been affected was the area which had tonnes of rocks put in front of it last October.

“The temporary emergency work we carried out then has definitely prevented far more serious damage happening to the sea wall and the promenade. This latest setback is nowhere as bad as what occurred during May last year but it once again highlights that temporary measures are not the answer.”

The council wants to put new fishtail-shaped groynes along the south beach and had hoped to start in May last year, but its bid for Government funding has so far proved unsuccessful.

“We are continuing to be frustrated in all our attempts to gain the financial go-ahead for the permanent scheme that will make this part of Felixstowe safe for the next 50 years or so,” said Mr Smith.

“We are now faced with having to spend even more money on providing very short-term measures, which is not really a sensible use of public money but we have been left with no alternative.”

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

Are you worried about your home being flooded this winter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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