Town's flood defence scheme approved

By Sarah ChambersA MAJOR flood defence scheme for part of the Suffolk coast is set to go ahead following vital approval from the Government.The £6.

By Sarah Chambers

A MAJOR flood defence scheme for part of the Suffolk coast is set to go ahead following vital approval from the Government.

The £6.5million project will protect Southwold and Easton Marsh from flood and coastal erosion by upgrading its defences.

Construction work is now expected to begin this autumn and be completed by early summer of 2006 following approval from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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The scheme has been developed by Waveney District Council and the Environment Agency and includes:

n building a new set of groynes over the coastal frontage, with timber groynes in front of the town, and rock over the Easton Marsh

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n importing dredged material to raise the beach levels

n raising the earth embankment at Buss Creek to the west of the town

n rebuilding parts of the concrete promenade between the Amusement Pier and Kilcock Cliff toilet block.

Ken Sale, Waveney District Council's portfolio-holder for the environment, said: “I am of course delighted that this has been approved as the scheme will protect Southwold beach frontage and Buss Creek.

“Special thanks are due to Waveney's coast protection team and the Environment Agency for working together to reach a solution. The recent completion of the Corton works shows that we can successfully deliver these important schemes.”

Meanwhile, the latest proposals to defend the coastline from the threat of the sea have been unveiled.

Consultants have drawn up reports on behalf of Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Environment Agency that set out how the stated policy of “hold the line” can be achieved in south Felixstowe.

They have recommended T-shaped rock fishtail groynes that are 40 metres long, with a 20m-long section at the seaward end, should be installed, spaced 110 metres apart.

Rae Leighton, Suffolk Coastal District Council cabinet member for planning and coastal protection, said: “These proposals cover the frontage between the War Memorial and Landguard Common and so include the main tourist area in Felixstowe.

“It is the agreed view of both ourselves and the Environment Agency, which has been accepted by the Government, that the existing line between the sea and the land in Felixstowe should be maintained.

“The consultants have assured us that rock fishtail groynes are technically the best for Felixstowe and would also have fewer environmental impacts than other options, particularly as it is likely that the rock would be delivered by sea.

“They also tell us that a rock scheme is cheaper than timber and is therefore likely to be the only option that will get a full grant from the Government.”

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