Residents seem flood scheme plans

By David LennardRESIDENTS living along the Blyth estuary have been able to see how the area could be protected from the dangers of flooding.Various options for flood management of the Blyth estuary, between Southwold and Halesworth, were on display yesterday at an exhibition organised by the Environment Agency.

By David Lennard

RESIDENTS living along the Blyth estuary have been able to see how the area could be protected from the dangers of flooding.

Various options for flood management of the Blyth estuary, between Southwold and Halesworth, were on display yesterday at an exhibition organised by the Environment Agency.

The various options on display were:


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n Do nothing - this option would involve stopping all maintenance, repair and renewal work and any monitoring of the flood defences associated with this.

n Do the minimum - the flood defence scheme would mean “limited intervention” where only work to maintain the existing line of defence would be undertaken.

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n Hold the line - although this option would also mean keeping the existing line of defence, it would also include “substantial alterations” as rising sea levels will mean new defences are needed to keep to the same level of protection.

n Advance the line - this involves building certain flood defences, such as walls or embankments, in front of existing defences and moving the line of defence forward into the estuary.

n Managed realignment - this would involve the partial or complete removal of a stretch of defence to allow the tide to flood a designated area.

Many residents, including representatives of the Southwold Harbour Users' Association, believed it would be a “disaster” if the do nothing option was selected.

Association chairman, Graham Hay Davison, said: “Southwold Harbour provides many jobs and it plays an important role in the local economy.

“The Blyth estuary is also an area of great importance to wildlife and not to protect it from future flooding would be a disaster.”

Many of the existing flood defences along the Blyth estuary are deteriorating and the Environment Agency said it was important that a strategy for the future was adopted.

Agency project manager, Nigel Pask, said: “When considering the options in the development of the strategy, the agency is required to assess the preferred means of managing the estuary in terms of technical, environmental and economic benefits according to Government guidance.

“The agency can then make a case to Government for funding of the long-term management of the estuary over the next 100 years.”

The flood defence scheme for the Blyth estuary will form part of the Suffolk Estuaries Strategies, which will also include schemes for the Alde/Ore and the River Deben estuaries.

david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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