Sea defence scheme hits stormy waters

MAJOR coastal defence improvements in the south Felixstowe area have received planning permission - but there is no money for the project.The district council has given permission for the replacement of 50 decaying groynes with 19 rock groynes.

MAJOR coastal defence improvements in the south Felixstowe area have received planning permission - but there is no money for the project.

The district council has given permission for the replacement of 50 decaying groynes with 19 rock groynes.

Rae Leighton, cabinet member for coastal protection, said: “We have been working hard with the Environment Agency and also with Defra (Department of the environment, food and rural affairs) for works that would get underway in the spring to provide much-needed coastal protection works along the southern seafront of Felixstowe.

“This £5 million project will offer vital protection against flooding to 1,616 existing homes as well as the Port of Felixstowe and the many local businesses and tourist attractions.


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“It is a massively important proposal and it is therefore very disappointing to discover this week that the Government is currently unwilling to fund it.

“We will be contacting the Government urgently to try and persuade them to recognise that funding has to be made available for this project sooner rather than later.

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“Our proposed scheme would offer protection to a great deal of local homes but also the nationally-important port and I hope we get the decision reversed.”

Defra is funding coastal protection works across the country worth £74.4 million in 2006/07. The Felixstowe scheme was awarded 32 points on a priority scale but this was not enough to guarantee funding.

Cllr Leighton added: “Not only are countless residents put at risk, and potential delays to the much-needed regeneration of the seafront area, but it would almost certainly mean a halt to the Environment Agency's planned works around south Felixstowe. The Agency had intended to carry out flood defence work that can only really proceed if our project does as well.”

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