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Thorpeness: Work to begin on protecting sea defences

Suffolk Coastal District Council are carrying out work on Thorpeness Beach.They are covering the Phase 1 bags in shingle to help protect them.

Suffolk Coastal District Council are carrying out work on Thorpeness Beach.They are covering the Phase 1 bags in shingle to help protect them.

Archant

Work will be carried out this week to reinforce sea defences positioned along a stretch of the Suffolk coast.

More than 2,000 bags of sand and shingle were packed onto the beach at Thorpeness between 2010 and 2012, in an effort to protect the shoreline.

Contractors returned to the site this week to cover the bags with shingle and ensure they continue to function as a deterrent against erosion.

Most of the funding for the original project - which received minor repairs, modifications and additional works last year - came from the Environment Agency, with the remainder from Suffolk Coastal District Council and local people.

The original work comprised shingle-filled fabric bags laid eight to 10 layers deep over one-and-a-half square miles of “geo-fabric”, creating a 900ft toe-shaped structure to protect exposed cliff and support a damaged rock-filled wire basket bank.

This time the work that is being done by the council’s contractor J T Mackley involves the movement of beach material by large excavators operating between the 2012 works frontage and the beach below the Thorpeness Country Club.

Suffolk Coastal said there will be a fenced compound on the upper beach - away from buildings and behind trees - to minimise impact.

Andy Smith, deputy council leader and head of coastal protection, said: “Suffolk Coastal is pleased to be able to assist the local community in Thorpeness with a further phase of work on this scheme.

“This scheme was a novel and innovative method, combining the need for low costs with recognition that this is a sensitive frontage environmentally but with a complex system of natural movements of the shingle bank - which is the real defence for the area.

“In this situation, there can be no hard long term guarantees for the scheme, but we will continue to do everything practically and financially viable to maintain the defence, in conjunction with the Environment Agency and the local community.”

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