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Suffolk/Norfolk: Some coast flood defences may not be reinstated following surge

PUBLISHED: 21:49 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 21:49 22 January 2014

The aftermath of the tidal surge at at Shingle Street

The aftermath of the tidal surge at at Shingle Street

© Copypright Mike Page, All Rights Reserved Before any use is made of this picture, including dispaly, publication, broadcast,

Some Norfolk and Suffolk sea defences may not be reinstated following the tidal surge which hit last month.

Environment Agency boss Paul Leinster told MPs that his agency is questioning whether or not it will allow the water that has broken through to remain.

Brancaster, Blakeney and Salthouse are all areas that the agency is considering allowing the salt water to create new habitats. During a select committee session on the recent storms which have caused widespread flooding the EA chief executive was questioned on the speed of repairs to the breached barriers.

But he said: “For some of the situation, the flood defences are still under water. We physically can’t get to them to inspect them. In other places we will have discussions with Natural England and others as to whether we are going to reinstate those flood defences, or whether we will allow the water that has now broken through to remain. So you can imagine some of the places up on the North Norfolk Coast or some of the places in Suffolk where some defences have broken through. They were protecting particular types of habitat. The questions has to be do we reinstate those defences and then allow fresh water habitat to re-establish, or allow inter-tidal habitat to establish.”

But he added: “The bit I would like to assure is properly and people are being protected and we have carried out all of the emergency works we need to and put in temporary works we to need to protect people and property.”

Mark Johnson, coastal manager for the Environment Agency said: “Last month’s combination of strong winds, large waves and high tides led to a record tidal surge along many parts of the coast.

“This had a large impact on areas along the North Norfolk coast that needs thorough evaluation before any decisions are made.

“We have already employed Halcrow as consultants to review the situation in Brancaster, Blakeney and Salthouse.

“We are expecting their report next month. The report and discussions with our partners and those affected will help us to consider our options for the North Norfolk coast.”

Police are at the scene of a two-vehicle collision in Ipswich involving a car and a van.

A motorist who consumed a cocktail of drugs before causing a crash on a Suffolk road which left a woman with “life-changing injuries” has been jailed for 28 months.

Essex County Council is calling for a fairer funding deal after a new report reveals residents receive 66% less funding than people in London.

An 18-year-old man was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries following a two-car crash in Colchester this morning.

Sunday’s inaugural Great East Run will see 3,000 runners tackling the half marathon course around Ipswich town centre, out to Freston and back.

Officials behind the Stars of Suffolk awards are urging people to make nominations for carer of the year.

Three six-year-old boys from Stonham Aspal Primary School have taken on a gruelling and muddy obstacle course to raise money for Blesma, the limbless veterans charity.

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