Anger at sea wall safety fence

By Danielle NuttallBEACH hut owners have spoken of their fury at the installation of new safety railings along a sea wall, saying it spoiled the coastal scenery.

By Danielle Nuttall

BEACH hut owners have spoken of their fury at the installation of new safety railings along a sea wall, saying it spoiled the coastal scenery.

They also claimed not to have been given any warning by the Environment Agency that it was planning to put up the 4ft-high barriers alongside their beach huts, close to Felixstowe Ferry.

The railings were put up following a health and safety risk assessment by the Environment Agency to protect children from falling over the sea wall.

They currently run along a 20ft to 30ft section of the sea wall, but beach hut owners said the steel railings were a real eyesore and ruined the beautiful coastal setting.

Chris Smith, who owns the land containing the beach huts, and a caravan and holiday cottage near the site, said: “I am cross. It will spoil the whole outlook from the ferry. It's supposed to be an area of outstanding beauty.

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“When you are looking at it at an angle, you cannot see through it. People will be leaning on the fence and looking out to sea.”

Mr Smith, who lives in Bucklesham, added: “It will spoil the character, which is being spoiled anyway with Jetskis.

“We were given no warning at all. They're bolted into the sea wall, you're going to get children climbing over them.”

Fellow beach hut owner, Dora Betts, asked why notices could not be put in place warning of the dangers, like other parts of Felixstowe, instead of barriers.

“It will completely obscure our view. They're doing it without reference to the beach hut owners,” she said.

“If they can put up notices in one part why can't they do it at the other part? Our view of the sea will be gone.”

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said the metal barriers had been put up after consultation with Suffolk Coastal District Council.

“They were put up as a safety measure because there is a drop of more than two metres the other side,” she added.

“The aim is to protect the public, particularly children, from the drops. It's as a result of a health and safety risk assessment, which highlights the need for those types of improvements along sea walls where the vertical drops are more than two metres.”

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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