Statue to celebrate sea defences

AN artist is to be asked to design a statue to celebrate the £10 million sea defence scheme to protect southern Felixstowe for the next century.Suffolk Coastal plans to commission an artist to create a sculpture which will be placed on the seafront once the work is completed later this year.

AN artist is to be asked to design a statue to celebrate the £10 million sea defence scheme to protect southern Felixstowe for the next century.

Suffolk Coastal plans to commission an artist to create a sculpture which will be placed on the seafront once the work is completed later this year.

As yet, no ideas have been put forward for the design - and details of the cost are not known.

Tonight The Evening Star is inviting readers to give their views on whether it is a good way to spend public money, and to come up with an idea for the artwork.

Work on the defences - 21 new rock fish-tail or T-shaped groynes between the War Memorial and Landguard Common - will begin next week.

The work is likely to cause major disruption for the summer, but community leaders have appealed for people to be patient and to look forward to the long-term benefits of protection for more than 1,600 existing homes and businesses, and the Port of Felixstowe.

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Environment Agency project manager Andrew Rouse said: “As well as giving protection to homes and businesses, the scheme will also give us the opportunity to make other improvements such as installing disabled access ramps to the beach.

“During the work we will be putting up signs and fencing off the Languard Common site of special scientific interest to protect nesting birds and the site in front of the Martello Tower to reduce the amount of trampling over the site.”

Signs have been put up at Manor Terrace giving notice that the footpath to the promenade will close from Saturday (March 1).

Equipment and temporary offices are due to start arriving on site from Saturday, and orders worth millions of pounds have been made for materials.

A dredger is expected to anchor off-shore and be pumping the sand and shingle for the new beach in early April, and work will be done to repair collapsed parts of the prom.

The work is expected to be completed by the end of August, depending on the weather, and the beach will be opened up in sections as the work is finished.

Rocks put in place as part of emergency work to give temporary protection to the sea wall and prom will used as part of the groynes in the permanent scheme.

Should a sculpture be commissioned to mark the scheme? Send your views and ideas for the statue to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk