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Viewing area reopened after makeover

PUBLISHED: 03:41 11 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

NOW that's a whole lot better!

After a month of frantic work, Felixstowe's under-threat portside viewing area has reopened - and its beach is looking healthier than it has for a decade.

NOW that's a whole lot better!

After a month of frantic work, Felixstowe's under-threat portside viewing area has reopened – and its beach is looking healthier than it has for a decade.

Instead of a 12 feet drop to the shore, there is now just a tiny eight inch drop, thanks to a massive beach replenishment scheme.

Part of the car park – used by half a million people a year to watch the ships and visit Landguard Fort and nature reserve – has been closed on and off since May, and for the past month the whole viewpoint has been shut.

It had been feared that the viewing area could collapse into the sea because of the severe erosion of the shore next to Landguard Container Terminal.

But now the worries are over, with the car park and the fort having a fantastic new beach which should give them protection against the fiercest storms.

Suffolk Coastal council, which has worked closely with the Port of Felixstowe and other bodies on the project, said it was delighted to have the John Bradfield Viewing Area open again.

Also thrilled is Samantha Dorling who runs the Crow's Nest snack bar. She saw her trade tumble during the closures, which meant thousands were unable to enjoy their favourite past-time of shipwatching.

Contractors have spent the past four weeks placing thousands of tonnes of shingle on the beach between the old aggregates site and the container terminal.

The aim has been to put the beach levels back to how they were when the area was built in 1993.

Shingle has been piled in front of the car park, and also in front of the fort, where a section of promenade had collapsed after shingle was sucked out of a letter-box sized gap in the sheet steep piling.

Some more repair work will still have to be done in front of the fort – owned by English Heritage and managed by a charitable trust – to its prom and grass banks, but at least the area is now protected.

The erosion was caused by two small shingle islands suddenly forming off Landguard Point. These have now been destroyed in the hope that this will then encourage material to spread along the beaches in future.

WEBLINKS: www.english-heritage.org.uk

www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

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