Multi-million sea defence boost

A MULTI-million pound scheme is earmarked for Felixstowe to strengthen the ageing sea defences.The project costs £2.5m and Suffolk Coastal District Council is keen to start the work within two years along the frontage of Orford Road to Manor End.

A MULTI-million pound scheme is earmarked for Felixstowe to strengthen the ageing sea defences.

The project costs £2.5m and Suffolk Coastal District Council is keen to start the work within two years along the frontage of Orford Road to Manor End.

The council has responsibility for this section of the seafront and officers warned that the deteriorating defences and fluctuating beach levels make it vulnerable.

The aim is to replace the existing concrete and timber groynes with rock fishtail groynes and/or off shore reefs. There is also a 15-year project to build new groynes or reefs from the War Memorial to Orford Road.


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But a public consultation exercise carried out when proposals were exhibited recently at Felixstowe leisure centre revealed that some people preferred timber groynes and they considered fishtail groynes to be an eyesore.

Jeremy Schofield, Suffolk Coastal's director of planning and leisure, says in a report to Cabinet on April 1: ''New timber groynes are expensive to maintain in the long term with a life expectancy somewhat less than that of rock. Rock also enables fewer but larger structures to be constructed, creating large embayments that increase the area of beach available for absorbing wave energy and for recreational use.''

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Other proposals include the replacement and realignment of the promenade wall at Manor End, and the construction of a 1m high crest wall on the edge of the promenade in the next five years from Orford Road to Manor End to stop shingle being washed up onto the promenade.

The crest wall would also hold back the sea and give an opportunity to refurbish the existing old sea wall. But Felixstowe town council is critical of this plan.

''The simple option of a crest wall in front of the promenade would have amenity disbenefits and needs examining carefully. Any construction adjacent to the promenade in this area needs to reflect Felixstowe's architectural heritage and to be in keeping with the town,'' said the council.

The district council has a reserve fund to pay for coastal protection and expects to receive matched funding from the county council and a grant.

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