Tourist boom predicted as work starts

CONSTRUCTION work on Felixstowe's new sea defences could create a mini tourist boom for the resort this summer, according to the seaside town's mayor.Joan Sennington believes the work on the £10 million project could actually bring visitors to the coast - rather than deterring them because the main holiday beach will be out of action.

CONSTRUCTION work on Felixstowe's new sea defences could create a mini tourist boom for the resort this summer, according to the seaside town's mayor.

Joan Sennington believes the work on the £10 million project could actually bring visitors to the coast - rather than deterring them because the main holiday beach will be out of action.

“People are always interested in seeing huge construction projects like this taking place and I think people will love to come down to Felixstowe to see what is happening,” she said.

“It could create a mini tourist boom for us this summer.

“There will be some disruption along the seafront because of the work but the Environment Agency has assured us it will be kept to a minimum.”

When the sea defences were built at Cobbold's Point seven years ago the work attracted huge crowds to watch the fish-tail groynes being built and shingle being pumped ashore.

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Mrs Sennington said gaining the funding for the work was “wonderful news” for the town.

“It's really important that this work is to be done because of the protection it will give to such a large area of our town,” she said.

“It will also mean we can at last make a start on the south seafront project, which will make such a big improvement to that end of town and help regenerate the whole area.”

Preparatory work is under way, managed by Team Van Oord Ltd, who are currently creating a compound for construction workers off Langer Road.

The scheme will see 21 T-shaped rock groynes built from the south of the pier to Manor End, plus beach replenishment work, which could start as early as next month with a dredger anchored off-shore to pump in sand and shingle.

Work will also take place along a 150 metre stretch from Micklegate Road to Orford Road to put steel sheet piling in front of the prom. This will be filled behind with shingle and the work encased in concrete and stepped to the beach.

The whole scheme is expected to be finished by the end of August.

Engineers say the aim is re-open sections of beach as they are completed.

The scheme will protect 1,600 homes, businesses, tourist attractions and the port from flooding for the next century.

Are rock groynes the answer to Felixstowe's eroding beaches? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk