Cliff protection work under way in village

EMERGENCY work has started in a bid to protect a vulnerable cliff face that has fallen victim to the ravages of coastal erosion.

The EADT reported last week how homeowners living in North End Avenue, Thorpeness, near Aldeburgh, were becoming increasingly concerned.

The heavy storms at the beginning of the month gave the beach such a pounding that tonnes of material was swept out to sea.

In just a fortnight, gently-sloping shingle has been replaced by a sheer drop of between 18 and 20ft, while the gabions – wire nets filled with rocks secured to the cliff face to help reduce the impact of coastal erosion – have also been exposed.

A number of homes were at risk and Shelley and Mick Cowlin, who have lived in their property for more than 30 years, urged coastal bosses to step in and take action.

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The district council was quick to respond and as these pictures show contractors are now working at low tide to secure new gabions in front of the cliff where the main erosion has happened. Last night, Mrs Cowlin said she was pleased work had started to try and shore up the cliff face.

Andy Smith, cabinet member for coastal protection and deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, said they will soon be meeting with residents to discuss what has been done and future options.

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“This work should provide some significant temporary respite to the cliffs and so offer some reassurance to those living in the nearby homes,” he said.

It is also hoped a change in the weather – more particularly in the strength and direction of the wind – should mean a respite for the beach and could even see a return of some of the materials washed out to sea.

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