Sharp steel warning on beach

EMERGENCY repairs have been ordered on a resort's beach following the discovery of "razor-edged" lengths of steel.The repairs are to be carried out at Southwold following an unscheduled inspection of the condition of deteriorating sea defence groynes on the northernmost beach - the one closest to Easton Bavents.

By David Green

EMERGENCY repairs have been ordered on a resort's beach following the discovery of "razor-edged" lengths of steel.

The repairs are to be carried out at Southwold following an unscheduled inspection of the condition of deteriorating sea defence groynes on the northernmost beach - the one closest to Easton Bavents.

Environment Agency engineers visiting the town for a Norfolk and Suffolk area flood defence committee meeting discovered the steel when inspecting the groynes.


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Stan Jeavons , operations team manager for the agency, said the steel was "razor edged".

"We will have to come in and remove them as a matter of urgency to protect bathers," he said.

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Officials have been regularly monitoring the state of the groynes for some time because of the threat to the safety of swimmers and other people using the beach.

Jonatham Wortley, area flood defence manager for the agency, said repairs would be carried out ahead of the main tourist season.

"The work is imminent but I cannot say exactly when it will take place," he said.

Mr Wortley said colleagues had told him that there were already notices on the ends of the groynes at Southwold warning people about "underwater obstructions".

John Winter, a Southwold town councillor and former mayor, said pieces of bent metal had previously been removed from the groynes by the agency and timber boards used to "shore-up" the defences.

"It is a good thing the sharp pieces of steel were spotted and that something is going to be done about it," he said.

The Environment Agency has been concerned about the groynes for some time and a major replacement scheme, in partnership with Waveney District Council, has been devised for the longer term.

Unfortunately, a revision in the points scoring system to establish priorities has meant that implementation of the scheme has been put back to 2005/6 after hopes it would go ahead this autumn.

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