'Ambitious' Lowestoft leads the UK with new flood defences 

Tidal floodwalls form part of the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project.

Tidal floodwalls form part of the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project. - Credit: Mick Howes

One of the largest mitre flood gates in the United Kingdom is set to be installed as the final element of a project that will protect thousands of homes from flooding.

A 40m mitre flood gate - the second largest in the UK - will be built in the entrance to Lake Lothing as part of the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project.

Details for the 40m mitre gate in Lowestoft

Details for the 40m mitre gate in Lowestoft. - Credit: Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project

The ambitious project will see the mitre flood gate be the first such structure of its kind in the UK to be built without diverting the navigation channel.

The tidal barrier, which had originally been designed to be a 28m mitre gate, will be built across the channel entrance to Lake Lothing on the seaward side of the Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft.

By extending the size of the mitre gate to 40m, it means the current width of the navigation channel will be maintained.

This approach will allow Lowestoft to continue developing as a hub for offshore wind energy, with the gate being built over a number of winter seasons to maintain access to the inner harbour.

The detailed design phase of the mitre flood gate will begin next year and will provide a firm completion date for the project.

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Once complete, the gate, working in combination with tidal floodwalls, will provide valuable protection for people, homes and businesses for many years to come.

A speech from David Ritchie, East Suffolk Council's cabinet member for planning and coastal management.

A speech from David Ritchie, East Suffolk Council's cabinet member for planning and coastal management, at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

David Ritchie, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for Planning and Coastal Management, said: “The Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project has always been ambitious in its efforts to protect the residents and businesses of the town from the risk of flooding, and this has been shown with the development of the second largest mitre flood gate in the UK.”

Construction is continuing on the first phase of tidal floodwalls on Hamilton Road Lowestoft

Construction is continuing on the first phase of tidal floodwalls on Hamilton Road in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

Construction is currently under way on the first phase of tidal floodwalls on Hamilton Road and Waveney Road in Lowestoft, with the second phase due to begin in the new year around the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club and South Pier.

The floodwalls are due for completion in Spring 2023.

Temporary flood defences remain available to reduce the risk of flooding to Lowestoft until the project is complete.

The temporary defences will be used in conjunction with the tidal floodwalls once complete, to further reduce the flood risk.

When finished Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project will protect more than 1,500 homes and 825 businesses.