Dangerous 'dragon's teeth' sea defences to be removed

Second World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, at Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock

Second World War sea defences, known as 'Dragon's Teeth', at Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock - Credit: Hayley Adcock

They were planted to prevent enemy landings along a stretch of beach during the Second World War.

Now coastal defences uncovered by erosion over recent years look set to be removed from Kessingland beach, near Lowestoft.

Beacons look set to be installed to warn swimmers, as a marine licence application proposes "the removal of Second World War anti-tank landing structures" at Kessingland beach.

A Marine Management consultation is under way that proposes the metal spikes - known as 'dragon’s teeth' defences - and scaffold tank trap structures are removed.

The Crown Estate, which owns the foreshore, is proposing to remove the scaffold structures, as well as the metal sections of the dragon’s teeth which are exposed on the beach at low tide.


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A Water Framework Directive (WFD) Compliance Assessment, and a Habitats Regulations Assessment, produced to support the marine licence application, states: "Much of this structure has broken down over time, however a proportion of this structure is still present in the sand.

"There are also a series of ‘dragon’s teeth’ which are vertical iron spikes understood to be mounted in concrete blocks that were installed below Mean Low Water (MLW) as a tank landing deterrent, extending south from Kessingland to Covehithe.

Second World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, in Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock

Second World War sea defences, known as 'Dragon's Teeth', in Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock - Credit: Hayley Adcock

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"Due to the public safety risk these structures pose, The Crown Estate are proposing to remove the scaffold structures, as well as removing the metal sections of the dragon’s teeth which are exposed on the beach at low tide.

"The remaining metal sections of the dragon’s teeth situated on the Crown Estate’s land that are covered by water at low tide are to be left in-situ as they are buried in the sand and understood to be set in concrete blocks.

"Once the removal works are complete, fixed marker beacons are to be installed in the water to mark the extent of the remaining dragon’s teeth and concrete blocks, and to minimise the risk arising from these potential hazards to the general public."

Dragon's teeth and tank traps have been found on the beach at Kessingland Picture: BRIAN SCOTT

Dragon's teeth and tank traps have been found on the beach at Kessingland. Picture: BRIAN SCOTT - Credit: BRIAN SCOTT

An East Suffolk Council spokesman said: "East Suffolk Council has no objection to the proposal."

Kessingland parish councillors also recommended approval but said they would like more of the dragon's teeth removed, including the concrete bases.

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