Urgent works needed on seafront

URGENT works may need to be carried out as beach levels continue to drop dramatically at Felixstowe, it was revealed today.

URGENT works may need to be carried out as beach levels continue to drop dramatically at Felixstowe, it was revealed today.

Coastal engineers are monitoring the situation on the East Beach in Undercliff Road East, where £3 million was spent on new sea defences just five years ago.

In a report on the state of Suffolk Coastal's shoreline, officers say the beach between the Fludyers hotel and Cobbold's Point is continuing to fall.

“The need for urgent works is being considered with a view to making recommendations to cabinet,” they said in the report.

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During the summer months, rocks along the frontage were rearranged and strengthened to give extra protection to the prom.

However there is a 5ft drop to the beach in places, and groynes exposed by the erosion have been smashed to pieces by the power of the sea.

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The massive wishbone-shaped reef of giant concrete blocks built at Cobbold's Point in 2001 has done little improve the situation, although consultants said at the time it would protect the area.

Now proposals have been put forward by consultants to make changes to the reef to improve its effectiveness and it is hoped to bring a report to cabinet by the end of the year.

Elsewhere on Felixstowe's five-mile coastline, there is good and bad news.

At The Dip, the traditional timber groynes, which were built in 1986 but which the council refuses to use now because of the high costs, are still providing an excellent defence 20 years on and showing no sign of deterioration.

However the southern part of the resort, where part of the prom collapsed this summer and £370,000 worth of emergency work was needed, still waits for to hear when government will part with the £6m for a permanent scheme.

The report to the council said: “Depending on the outcome of on-going negotiations concerning funding with Defra and the Environment Agency, further emergency works may be required but a decision on this is in abeyance pending Defra's review of the available of funds for 2007/08.

“This will indicate when the major scheme can start and, accordingly, whether the current defences will have to be maintained for a further one or two winters.”

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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