Sites for homes to help raise cash for Alde and Ore river walls being discussed

The Save Our Suffolk Estuary Committe. Left to right: Clare and Edward Greenwell, Ian Collett, Ian D

The Save Our Suffolk Estuary Committe. Left to right: Clare and Edward Greenwell, Ian Collett, Ian Davey, and Jane Maxim. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Fewer homes may be needed to help raise a substantial part of a £12million appeal to protect a vulnerable and beautiful area from flooding – and several sites are already under consideration.

The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership estimated that between 80 and 140 homes built on land donated by landowners and farmers as “exception sites” could help raise around £5m of the total needed to improve flood defences.

However, the partnership now reckons that fewer houses will have to be built – because the value raised by small sites is “potentially much greater” than the yield from larger developments.

Talks are under way with communities where sites of up to three acres have been offered, including at Iken, Sudbourne, Orford, Tunstall and Chillesford.

The aim would be to build 15 to 17 houses in the first phase of the appeal, with between one and four homes on quite large plots. One or two substantial houses could raise more money than four to six on the same-sized plot.

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Appeal organisers say there has been “considerable interest” in the idea and on November 10 the partnership’s meeting will have a public forum to discuss the principles of enabling development and all the sites that are potentially on offer. The meeting takes place at Tunstall Village Hall at 4pm and will be chaired by Lord Deben.

The majority of the money needed will come from other sources – including visitors, businesses, charities and Government agencies, and fundraising events

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An appeal spokeswoman said: “Over the coming months, the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust will be contacting the entire community in an effort to raise the rest of the money.

“Individual donations can be paid immediately, spread over a number of years or take the form of legacies.

“We urge everyone who lives, works and plays in the estuary to contribute what they can. This effort will only succeed if everybody joins in to a significant extent.”

Public consultation during the preparation of future plans for the management of the estuary found the community fully behind the efforts to raise substantial funds to cover the gap between flood defence grants and the cost of the required upgrading of the defences to ensure they can resist breaching even if overtopped.

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