Flood-hit village’s ‘unprecedented’ response reaching fruition
- Credit: Su Anderson
A group of Suffolk villagers are looking forward to Christmas, safe in the knowledge that their homes are better protected from extreme weather.
The Waldringfield Flood Defence Group welcomed Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, representatives of the Environment Agency and district councillors to the banks of the Deben, where work is being completed on a £900,000 project to protect against events like the December 2013 tidal surge that devastated homes and businesses.
Funded through the Big Lottery Coastal Community Fund, the Environment Agency, Suffolk Coastal and private investment, the project is now close to completion.
Jon Wilkins, group chairman, said “We are delighted that the project is nearing completion. Everyone has worked so hard to make this happen and we are grateful for the help and support we have received. We can all look forward to Christmas knowing that we are better protected from any future events.”
Managed by the Environment Agency, construction includes sheet piling, concrete walls and flood defence gates, which will be kept open to allow footpath access footpath but closed when flooding is forecast.
Dr Coffey said: “I am delighted to see first-hand the almost completed flood defence scheme for Waldringfield.
“After last December’s tidal surge, which affected residents and businesses badly, it has been great to see the community, local council, government and the Environment Agency come together to ensure better protection for Waldringfield.”
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Karen Thomas, of the Environment Agency, said: “The community has shown tremendous resilience and organisation to have achieved so much in the 12 months since the tidal surge. I am so impressed by what they have done – to deliver a new flood defence project in one year is unprecedented. It’s a great example of what communities can achieve.”