Felixstowe: �10m for sea defences agreed at last

ENVIRONMENT Agency bosses today completed their U-turn in the long-running saga over Felixstowe’s new sea defences and finally agreed the �10 million funding needed for the project.

However, to spread the cost over two financial years, some work will be done this summer and the rest next year.

There had been serious doubts over the scheme after the agency announced just before Christmas that it was withdrawing the money.

But after meetings with Suffolk Coastal, who demonstrated the urgent need for the project to replace crumbling breakwaters at real risk of imminent collapse, the agency changed its mind and decided the project should go ahead.

The scheme for Central Felixstowe will protect 1,500 homes, businesses and attractions, including the Spa Pavilion and famous seafront gardens, for the next century with 18 rock groynes, a rock wall and walkway around Cobbold’s Point, between Jacob’s Ladder and the War Memorial, plus the topping up of the beach levels with sand and shingle

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“We are delighted to be able to confirm the financial support for this scheme,” said Mark Johnson, Environment Agency area coastal manager.

“We recognise that the last few months have been very unsettling for residents but do hope this news is reassuring.”

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Suffolk Coastal’s deputy leader Andy Smith described the approval as “really excellent news” and paid tribute to the Environment Agency for the prompt and positive way it listened to the council’s and community’s concerns.

“To have lost this scheme, with the near certainty of collapse of parts of the sea wall, with imminent danger then of major losses to homes, businesses and infrastructure, as well as the serious impact on tourism and jobs, was unthinkable,” said Mr Smith.

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