Search

DIY flood defences a step closer

PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:57 06 July 2010

CAMPAIGNERS bidding to protect land and homes around a north Suffolk estuary could see their proposals for DIY flood defences move a step forward later this month.

CAMPAIGNERS bidding to protect land and homes around a north Suffolk estuary could see their proposals for DIY flood defences move a step forward later this month.

The Environment Agency announced in September 2007 that it could no longer justify large scale investment to repair the defences around the Blyth Estuary, near Southwold, in the face of rising sea levels.

It proposed a strategy of managed retreat, which would see the existing walls protecting land around Walberswick, Southwold, Reydon and Blythburgh maintained for a maximum of 20 years, but with some sections allowed to breach much sooner.

Earlier this summer, the Blyth Estuary Group, which has been campaigning against the plans since January 2006, put forward a scheme which would see volunteers take on the task and rebuild the mud walls themselves so that they will last for at least a few more decades.

Now the plans have been recommended for approval by both Waveney and Suffolk Coastal District Councils when they meet to make a decision next Wednesday.

If they are given the green light, an access track would be built using waste soil from building sites so that clay from the marshes can then be put in place to bolster the defences.

The first section of wall to be improved would be the stretch between Delacroix and Tinkers Marsh. The finished flood walls would be about 12m wide and stretch 8km right round the estuary.

A report to Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils' planning committees said: “This project, when complete, will provide a one in ten year level of flood protection for 344 hectares of grazing marsh, Special Protection Area, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), properties at Ferry Road, Southwold and The Lea at Walberswick and will secure 8km of river walls...

“While there remain divergent views as to the medium to long term sustainability of river walls in their entirety, nevertheless there is a consensus that in the short term they provide valuable, albeit limited, flood defence.”

Development control committees for both councils are expected to make a decision on the proposals on Wednesday 16.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists