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Town needs seven sea defence schemes

PUBLISHED: 23:44 07 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:15 24 February 2010

SEVEN sea defence schemes need to be built at Felixstowe in the next five years to keep the town safe from flooding.

The cost will run into tens of millions of pounds but has to be spent to ensure a disaster like that in 1953 - when 40 people died - does not happen again.

SEVEN sea defence schemes need to be built at Felixstowe in the next five years to keep the town safe from flooding.

The cost will run into tens of millions of pounds but has to be spent to ensure a disaster like that in 1953 - when 40 people died - does not happen again.

The information is revealed as the Environment Agency said there is “still much to do” to stop the possibility of flooding.

The agency's chief executive, Labour peer Baroness Young said “Around 80 new schemes, approved since April 2001, are now under way or completed and a further 50 schemes are expected to be approved by March 2003.

“We are making progress and reducing the impact of flooding but there is still much to do.”

On February 13 and February 14, from 2pm to 7pm, Felixstowe Leisure Centre will host an exhibition on the findings of consultants Halcrow called in to review the management strategy for the town's coastal defences.

The exhibition will show large amounts of work are needed between the Town hall and the port in the years ahead.

Halcrow recommends that in the next five years:

n Concrete groynes between Orford Road and Manor End are replaced with fishtail breakwaters or offshore reefs.

n The prom wall at Manor End is demolished, rebuilt and realigned.

n The prom wall is increase in height between Orford Road and Manor End.

n Wooden groynes between Manor End and Landguard Common are replaced with fishtail breakwaters or offshore reefs.

n The sheetpile wall at the Viewing Area is replaced.

n Quay faces at the old foot ferry terminal are made higher.

n Increase protection of defences near the port oil terminal.

Within ten years, the massive stepped concrete sea wall at Landguard, which was only built a decade ago, will need replacing.

Other work will need to be done in the longer term, though the state of the defences and climate conditions will have to be constantly monitored.

The consultants' report highlights as the most urgent area for work the Manor End and south seafront, where the defences are rated as “poor”. This work is likely to cost £4.5 million.

Lady Young said climate change, increased storminess and rising sea levels mean the risk of flooding is “here to stay”.

She said: “That is why we as a nation have to reassess the way we live with the threat - the agency has a major role to play in this but individuals have one, too.

“Only together can we reduce the risk by being prepared for flooding and reducing emissions that contribute to global warming.

“In particular the agency needs to work with local authorities to ensure that inappropriate development doesn't continue in the flood plain.”


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