Concrete slabs 're-purposed' to help protect clifftop properties

The Pakefield temporary protection works being carried out this week.

The Pakefield temporary protection works being carried out this week. - Credit: Mick Howes

New defences have been installed to slow erosion and help support the vulnerable cliffs at Pakefield, in Lowestoft.

A further scheme of maintenance work was being carried out all this week as part of temporary protection to the base of eroding cliffs in south Lowestoft that took place all along the beach at Pakefield.

It comes after numerous one tonne sandbags had been installed in a 100m length protection at the base of the cliff and beach between December last year and January this year to the eroding cliffs at Arbor Lane.

Back then, East Suffolk Council (ESC), through Coastal Partnership East, which manages the coast on its behalf, appointed the Water Management Alliance (WMA) to carry out the temporary beach protection works.

With the temporary defences having "held well" despite being battered by bad weather earlier this year, a project was launched to examine how the coast is behaving at Pakefield - as the Pakefield Community Steering Group works closely with Coastal Partnership East.

With the WMA carrying out protection works this week, a spokesman said: "The work is spread along the beach from below the former Second World War Rifle Range to Arbor Lane, Pakefield."

The Pakefield temporary protection works being carried out this week.

The Pakefield temporary protection works being carried out this week. - Credit: Mick Howes

It has seen "large equipment" including excavators and heavy plant machinery in use as some pieces of the concrete wall that had "fallen some time ago" below the former rifle range was moved to be re-used as it was placed at the base of the cliff south of Arbor Lane.

Heavy plant machinery moving the concrete slabs into place at the base of the cliffs. 

Heavy plant machinery moving the concrete slabs into place at the base of the cliffs. - Credit: Lyza Harris (Facebook)


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The spokesman said: "The material that we have used had fallen some time ago from the cliffs at the Rifle Range.

"We obtained permission from the landowner to reuse these large and robust pieces of concrete to help reduce the risk of erosion to the toe of the cliff."

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With the work taking place to "support efforts to help reduce the risk of erosion to clifftop properties" for the winter, David Ritchie, the council's cabinet member for Planning and Coastal Management, said: “We are working closely with the community in Pakefield to explore options to help reduce the risk of erosion.

The Pakefield temporary protection works being carried out this week.

The Pakefield temporary protection works being carried out this week. - Credit: Mick Howes

"As part of that work and to support homeowners at immediate risk this winter, we are carrying out small scale emergency works, moving large, robust concrete slabs to the toe of the cliffs south of Pakefield Caravan Park."

Peter Byatt, leader of the Labour group at ESC and councillor for Kirkley and Pakefield, added: "I am really pleased that this has been achieved through the efforts of the Pakefield Coast Protection Group in conjunction with Coastal Partnership East, whose officers have been instrumental in finding solutions to the problems at Pakefield.

"It is good to see these concrete sections re-purposed in this way."

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