Sea defence boost planned at Felixstowe

NEW sea defences made out of rock are proposed to safeguard the beach and promenade at Felixstowe.The use of rock is unpopular with members of the public – but Suffolk Coastal District Council said timber groynes would be too expensive and less effective at holding back the North Sea.

NEW sea defences made out of rock are proposed to safeguard the beach and promenade at Felixstowe.

The use of rock is unpopular with members of the public – but Suffolk Coastal District Council said timber groynes would be too expensive and less effective at holding back the North Sea.

Consultants have been drawing up studies on behalf of Suffolk Coastal and the Environment Agency, which set out how the stated policy of 'hold the line' can be achieved.

Andy Smith, the council's deputy leader, said: "We know that many people do not like the use of rock rather than timber groynes on local beaches. Unfortunately, the cost of timber groynes nowadays is prohibitive.


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''We are therefore working with the consultants to look for ways of addressing these concerns, perhaps by devising hybrid solutions involving the use of timber at the landward end of the new structures, in order to gain the best of both types of defence."

He added: "The Felixstowe coastline has three distinct zones and three different studies have been undertaken to assess what needs to be done in each."

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In north Felixstowe the aim is to use rock to strengthen the seaward end of the existing groynes and replenish the beach with dredged sand and gravel in the next five to 10 years.

In the central area between Jacob's Ladder and the war memorial the plans include new rock fishtail groynes and building up the beach with dredged material.

n A long-term vision for the regeneration and future of Felixstowe is to be produced.

The study will take place following a successful bid by Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Haven Gateway Partnership to gain a major grant from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) to fund the project.

A consultant has been appointed who has six months to produce a draft masterplan for Felixstowe, a blueprint for residents, businesses and potential newcomers alike on how this town should develop over the next 10 years.

Four areas will be the principle focus of the study, with the spotlight concentrating on the town centre and access to it from both the A14 and the seafront area; the seaside/resort area; the port and adjacent area, and the wider residential area, and its relationship with the countryside and the Trimleys.

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