£1.2m sea defence scheme criticised

A £1.2million scheme to improve coastal defences has been branded a “sticking plaster job” by a leading councillor who warned that more cash was needed for a bigger project.

Annie Davidson

A £1.2million scheme to improve coastal defences has been branded a “sticking plaster job” by a leading councillor who warned that more cash was needed for a bigger project.

The work on the sea wall at the end of Hazlemere Road in Holland-on-Sea has been approved by the Environment Agency and funded by the Government after Tendring District Council made a successful bid for a grant.

At a cost of £1.2m work will begin on a new concrete defence with a beach access ramp in October and will be completed by April next year.


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But Harry Shearing, portfolio holder for technical and procurement services at Tendring District Council, said although he welcomed the success of the bid it was “not the long term solution.”

“It certainly should not be seen as the answer to the problems at Holland-on-Sea and along other parts of the Tendring coastline,” he said. “This really is the bare minimum that is required just to hold things together.

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“It is, as I have said before, a sticking plaster job and is not the long term solution.”

His comments were backed up by Clacton MP Douglas Carswell who said millions of pounds were still needed for the sea defences and that he would continue pressing the Government for the money.

“I'm pleased that we have got this extra cash to repair the sea walls, but the campaign to ensure that a proper set of defences are built must go on,” said Mr Carswell.

Mr Shearing said that the council would continue to press the Environment Agency for a £24m project which was approved by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2004 before the responsibility was passed on to the Environment Agency.

He added: “We will not give up the fight to get the funding needed for a major scheme but in the meantime this work will help to prevent further collapse of the sea wall along this particular part of the coastline.”

Mark Johnson, flood risk manager for the Environment Agency, said that he was “really pleased” that the £1.2m scheme would be starting shortly.

“Whilst this is progressing the Environment Agency will continue to work closely with Tendring District Council and community representatives to seek an affordable longer term solution for the frontage,” he said.

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