Low cost protection plans for river

AN INNOVATIVE low cost river bank defence scheme will contain some oak posts, plastic and perhaps reed bundles, it has been revealed.

Richard Smith

AN INNOVATIVE low cost river bank defence scheme will contain some oak posts, plastic and perhaps reed bundles, it has been revealed.

That is all that the River Deben Association (RDA) requires for an erosion attenuation barrier to be constructed in the river opposite Woodbridge's Tide Mill.

The structure will replace a dilapidated river wall and the RDA is going for a low-cost, low-tech solution.


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The barrier will have geo-grid panels using heavy duty plastic, in a similar style to that used to protect roadworks, which will be cheap and long lasting.

Reed bundles, which will increase the cost significantly, may be required to strength the barrier.

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The RDA wanted to design a structure using low-tech principles and prove that there is a realistic alternative to schemes put forward by the Environment Agency.

Ed Stanford, chairman of the RDA, said: “We have to get further approval from the Environment Agency and we need a flood defence assessment. Once that has been done we will go back to the engineer and hopefully we will start towards the end of the year.

“There are 120 oak posts to be put in at low tide and I have no idea how long that will take.”

Suffolk Coast and Heaths will contribute towards the cost of the project, which is estimated at less than £8,000.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has given permission for the barrier, although planning officers have imposed various conditions and want the effects of the structure to be assessed for five years.

They said: “An annual monitoring report shall be prepared by suitable qualified personnel and submitted each year to the local planning authority.”

This is to ensure that any negative effects arising from the barrier will be detected and then remedial action can be taken.

“If the annual monitoring report for the proposed erosion attenuation barrier indicates that the barrier has caused, and is continuing to cause, detrimental effects of a significant nature on the shoreline and biodiversity of the Deben estuary, the erosion barrier hereby permitted shall be removed,” added the officers.

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