£67m project to protect 1500 homes and 825 businesses from floods

Spades into the ground to mark the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft.

Spades into the ground to mark the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

A "vital" multi-million-pound scheme of works to protect a coastal town has taken a significant step forward.

The start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft is marked.

The start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft is marked. Picture: Warren Page/Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Warren Page

A special groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 1,500 homes and 825 businesses in Lowestoft.

The inscription on shovels as ground was dug at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft.

The inscription on shovels as ground was dug at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Heralding a brighter future for the town, the first phase of construction began with "the first shovel in the ground" on May 21 as part of the £67m scheme that will deliver tidal flood walls and a tidal barrier.

Banners showcasing the Lowestoft FRMP at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft.

Banners showcasing the Lowestoft FRMP at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

With the scheme being carried out as part of the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project (FRMP), it was established after the December 2013 tidal surge to develop a way forward "to reduce the risk of flooding from the sea, rivers and from extreme rainfall."

A speech from Waveney MP Peter Aldous at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft.

A speech from Waveney MP Peter Aldous at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Waveney MP Peter Aldous and other key project partners dug the ground in Hamilton Road, Lowestoft to formally start the first phase of work that underpins the town's future.


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Mr Aldous said: "This is a very, very special day.

"I am delighted to be here to put that first shovel into the ground.

The start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft is marked.

The start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft is marked. Picture: Warren Page/Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Warren Page

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"After the 1953 floods and storm surge of December 2013 had devastated businesses, homes and communities it was very clear that we needed this flood defence scheme."

With Lowestoft being the only urbanised coastal area in the UK with no formal flood defences, the flood risk has been a constraint to economic growth in the town.

The start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft is marked.

The start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft is marked. Picture: Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Warren Page

But now, with the tidal flood barrier to built in Lowestoft’s outer harbour - due for completion in spring 2026 - work is under way on the tidal flood walls to the north and south of the barrier that will protect the town from flooding.

The tidal flood walls will be a combination of fixed concrete flood walls, flood gates and demountable defences, which are due to be completed by May 2022.

Meanwhile, works on a localised flood defence scheme around Kirkley Stream in the area of Velda Close and Aldwyck Way in Lowestoft are set to be completed soon.

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 and chairman of the Project Board, said: “The Lowestoft sea walls will form a key part of the regeneration of our most easterly town and will pave the way for the new tidal barrier."

A speech from C-J Green at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft.

A speech from C-J Green at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

C-J Green, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This work is of vital importance to Lowestoft, protecting businesses, homes and infrastructure from the kind of flooding we saw in 2013."

A speech from Waveney MP Peter Aldous at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft.

A speech from Waveney MP Peter Aldous at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The ceremony included speeches from C-J Green, Cllr Ritchie, Mr Aldous, Suffolk County councillor James Reeder, chairman of the Anglia (Eastern) regional flood and coastal committee Paul Hayden, East Suffolk Council chief executive Stephen Baker along with Tamzen Pope and Karen Thomas from the Lowestoft FRMP.

A speech from Suffolk County councillor James Reeder.

A speech from Suffolk County councillor James Reeder at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

A speech from East Suffolk Council chief executive Stephen Baker.

A speech from East Suffolk Council chief executive Stephen Baker at the start of construction works to reduce the risk of flooding in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Chairman of the Anglia (Eastern) regional flood and coastal committee Paul Hayden (centre).

Chairman of the Anglia (Eastern) regional flood and coastal committee Paul Hayden (centre) at the start of construction works. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes



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