Lowestoft’s South Beach set to reopen

A £3.5 million coastal protection scheme at Lowestoft’s South Beach is approaching completion.

A £3.5 million coastal protection scheme at Lowestoft’s South Beach is approaching completion. - Credit: Archant

An 'important milestone' in the regeneration of Lowestoft's seafront will be marked tomorrow.

With parts of the seafront having been closed for 16 months, after it was badly damaged by erosion and the December 2013 storms, essential repair works have been carried out as part of a £3.5million project.

And to mark the occasion, a ceremony will be held at noon – with Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Waveney Distict Council leader Colin Law unveiling a new information board located at the top of the new ramp.

The first phase of the scheme, which started in October 2014, focused on repairing the damaged seawall and saw 6,000 tonnes of rock transported from Norway and positioned on the beach. The scheme was funded by a £2.9m contribution from the Environment Agency, with the remainder provided from Waveney's coastal management budget.

The second part of the two-phase project began early last year and has seen improvements made to the Children's Corner area of the town's South Beach.

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New rock structures to protect the seawall, a concrete access ramp and replacement coping stones have also been installed, alongside improvements made to drainage channels and the installation of new guard-railing along the promenade edge.

The work means the promenade will be fully re-opened, along with most of the South Beach - although a small part will remain closed for safety reasons for the foreseeable future.

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Mr Aldous said: 'This should be seen as an important milestone in the regeneration of the seafront – which is one of the unique selling points for Lowestoft.

'The seafront is a significant part of the Lowestoft experience and a real asset for the town.

'I am also conscious that it has been a tough period for businesses close to the South Pier, but the fact that it is being reopened in advance of the Easter weekend is welcome news.'

Danny Steel, chairman of Lowestoft Vision business improvement district (BID), said: 'I will mention how the North Sea is a neighbour that we all live next door to.

'Sometimes though, it has an occasional wild party and that is why the improvements have been so important. The seafront is an integral part of our town and we should have a good summer season now.'

With the beach re-opening, it has been confirmed that the RNLI lifeguards will also be returning to the section of the beach – as well as on the south side of the Claremont Pier. In addition, the popular free land train will be available throughout the Easter weekend – running between the Royal Plain Fountains and Kensington Gardens from 10.30am until 5.30pm.

? What do you think about the improvements? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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