Around 2,000 tonnes of rock will arrive in a coastal town next month as part of efforts to protect homes.

It comes as "urgent" work is set to be carried out for six weeks in November and December "to help reduce the continuing risk of erosion" at Pakefield in Lowestoft.

In June East Suffolk Council had said that Pakefield had been subject to "unprecedented rates of coastal erosion" since 2019

And with "accelerated erosion" continuing the owners of four clifftop chalets seaward of Arbor Lane had been told that "demolition is advisable".

The first of the four cliff-edge properties - The Rosary - was demolished in February, while Pakefield Holiday Park has moved some static caravans and lost some concrete bases.

Now, Coastal Partnership East (CPE) - the coastal management team for East Suffolk Council - has contracted Balfour Beatty to carry out urgent works on the beach in front of Arbor Lane from next week.

The rock - weighing about 1,800 to 2,000 tonnes - is being delivered by sea barge as it comes from Cornwall.

It will be placed "at the base of the cliff, at the most vulnerable points" in front of the access road in Arbor Lane, as without it "further cliff erosion would increase the risk of the access road being unsafe for use".

This would then "impact upon homes that are landward" of this "important access road".

A council spokesman said: "Should the access road be compromised, it could affect more than 25 properties and have the potential to deposit significant quantities of material from the road onto the beach, causing issues of public safety.

“We will, of course, be writing to all residents, businesses and the local school on the route, and we will continue to work closely with the community to investigate longer-term options to manage the coastline.

“We will also be liaising with partners to minimise disruption from deliveries of equipment and materials to the site.

"Deliveries and collections of plant will be co-ordinated to avoid peak times and minimise disruption.”

What do the works entail?

The works will see a temporary site compound set up in the All Saints Road car park and a welfare unit to be located at Pakefield Caravan Park from Monday, November 7.

The council spokesman added: "Rock will be delivered by barge from Monday, November 14 and moved into place at the base of the cliff by machinery.

"Heavy plant and machinery will be tracking down the beach from Claremont Pier, supervised by trained traffic marshals, on November 14 and November 21.

"There will be restricted access Claremont Pier for a short period of time while plant is offloaded.

"Offloading of the rock will take place in the shortest possible time, and to work with tidal conditions, 24 hours a day, over a four-day period.

"Rock placement will then take a further five weeks, predominantly between 8am and 5pm."

It is expected the works will take around six weeks to complete, with the aim of finishing "by the end of December".

The council said "there may be the need for some weekend and night working" to accommodate the tidal conditions and "to ensure that the rock is in place before the worst of the winter weather".