Divers inspect harbour wall at Southwold

A TEAM of divers yesterday examined the crumbling wall at Southwold harbour to see the extent of the damage caused by a breach last week.A section of the wall - which protects a caravan park, businesses and roads leading into Southwold from flooding - collapsed into the sea early last week.

A TEAM of divers yesterday examined the crumbling wall at Southwold harbour to see the extent of the damage caused by a breach last week.

A section of the wall - which protects a caravan park, businesses and roads leading into Southwold from flooding - collapsed into the sea early last week.

Amid fears that the rest of the structure would become weaker if the 6ft by 2ft gap was not repaired, divers took to the water yesterday to see the state of the wall for themselves.

Graham Hay Davison, chairman of the Southwold Harbour and River Blyth Users' Association, said: 'A part of the wall - in the form of a large bit on concrete - has fallen into the river but that's not the end of the story.


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'The harbour wall itself is bulging and is shifting towards the river. The car park behind it has slumped and that material is now leaching into the river.

'It's in an appalling state and the prognosis is not looking good. I'm having a meeting with Waveney District Council myself later this month to discuss the problem and discuss their proposals for actually undertaking this work.

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'It's not safe at the moment. It's a dangerous structure. It has been fenced off so we're monitoring the movement in the wall all the time and it is still falling into the river.'

Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer and Waveney District Council chief executive Stephen Archer also held a briefing yesterday morning to discuss the on-going problem of the deteriorating harbour wall and possible future solutions.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: 'The meeting was a briefing to bring everyone up to speed with what is currently being done at the harbour.

'At this stage, the divers have been there to scope out what needs to be done. They have had a look to see what kind of state it is in, and they will report back to our council officers who are still assessing the situation.'

Sue Allen, chairman of the Blyth Estuary Group, said: 'It is too early to say what the damage is at the moment. I think the divers will now compile the results into a report which is likely to be next week.'

In October last year, Waveney handed the management of the harbour over to Southwold Town Council and it was estimated at the time that the cost of repairing the harbour could be as much as �5m.

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