Coastal defence work set to start

CONCERNED homeowners have raised more than �100,000 in a bid to protect their properties from the ravages of the North Sea.

The EADT revealed earlier this year that residents in North End Avenue, Thorpeness, were becoming increasingly worried about rapid cliff erosion.

Following discussions with Suffolk Coastal District Council they have now raised �115,000 to help pay towards the cost of their own defences.

The first phase of the work should start next week and will involve building a new wall using large geo-textile bags filled with sand and shingle.

The district council - which carried out emergency work earlier this year - has also provided funding for the project, while the Environment Agency has said �200,000 should be available.

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Andy Smith, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for coastal protection, said: “I have been very impressed with the commitment from the local community to raise the funds needed as there were no other sources of national funding available, and I am pleased that we were able back their efforts with �30,000 as well.

“This is another excellent example of the community partnership approach that we have been pioneering in our district to help us defend homes and our coastline.”

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A second phase to the work - which is set to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday - is under design and is likely to be built in the first quarter of next year.

It has been recommended that the scheme - which would involve repairing the existing defences - be given the go ahead subject to arranging what share of the costs are transferred to the Environment Agency and the community.

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