Felixstowe: Beaches improve thanks to new repair methods

Felixstowe beach

Felixstowe beach - Credit: Archant

A new approach being taken to look after sea defences should help keep a resort’s holiday beaches in good shape for the next 15 to 20 years.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s engineers have developed and evolved a technique for extending the life of the groynes either side of Felixstowe pier by capping them in concrete, or in some locations replacing them entirely with new concrete construction.

Andy Smith, cabinet member for coastal management, said the timber and concrete groynes to the north and south of the pier were an important component of the town’s sea defences.

He said: “Previously, work was required and completed mainly to the north of the pier, and this year we have completed in two phases work identified as necessary on those to the south.

“Where this work has been completed, beach levels have improved substantially, and are now largely satisfactory over the entire stretch. Additionally, a final work item has been the partial reconstruction in timber of the two original groynes now beneath the pier-head building, where the concrete capping technique is not possible.

“This has already largely restored the level of the beach there, which had been of concern for some time.

“No further work is currently planned, given the current satisfactory state of this beach system, other than the possibility of progressively adding boards to the two pier groynes, although these are due to be completely rebuilt as part of the new pier project when that proceeds.”

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Additional maintenance will be done if needed.

He said: “We are confident that the technique, as now fully developed, will be capable of sustaining this area of the beach for a considerable period, of the order of 15 to 20 years. In the longer term it is possible that a fresh approach could be required.”