�10m sea scheme may get go-ahead next year

FELIXSTOWE: Community leaders say they have every confidence that work will be able to start next year on a �10million sea defence project needed to protect seafront homes and businesses from flooding.

They have been assured the money will be available despite government cutbacks because the project is a high priority to keep Felixstowe safe for the next century from the rising levels of the North Sea.

The scheme will protect 1,491 properties, commercial enterprises, plus beaches and the resort’s famous Spa Gardens, which are increasingly at risk as the defences along the central seafront continue to deteriorate.

Andy Smith, deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal, said the council had been assured the money would be available.

“It is a vital project for Felixstowe and it is essential that we can start work as soon as we can,” said Mr Smith.

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“We are making good progress on all the background work which needs to be done.

“Now we are waiting for the final agreement for grants and then contractors can be appointed.”

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Mr Smith said the scheme – which will involve building 18 rock groynes between 40 metres and 65m long, and a 250m long sea wall around Cobbold’s Point to Jacob’s Ladder, including an extension to the promenade – was a vital part of the regeneration of the resort and improving the town for residents and visitors.

Suffolk Coastal has been given �245,000 grant aid to progress the scheme so that work on site can start in 2011.

The next steps in the development of the scheme are to complete the detailed design, to prepare contract documentation to seek tenders and to undertake the evaluation of tenders to identify the preferred contractor to carry out the works.

As well as the new rock defences, beaches will be replenished with 78,000 sq m of sand and shingle.

A later phase of the project will involve building a flood wall between the Spa Pavilion and Undercliff Road East, where high seas currently wash into the road, to cope with rising sea levels.

n How pleased are you at the investment in the seafront? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to us at evening starletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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