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Project to help erosion-hit villages

PUBLISHED: 09:53 01 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 06 July 2010

Hayley Mace

A £1.5m project to help two threatened communities find ways to adapt to coastal erosion was officially launched this week.

The Suffolk Coastal Change Pathfinder Project has been set up with government funding to help villagers in Corton, near Lowestoft, and Easton Bavents, near Southwold, look at possible ways that they can change their lifestyles, homes and businesses to adapt to the changing coastline.

A £1.5m project to help two threatened communities find ways to adapt to coastal erosion was officially launched this week.

The Suffolk Coastal Change Pathfinder Project has been set up with government funding to help villagers in Corton, near Lowestoft, and Easton Bavents, near Southwold, look at possible ways that they can change their lifestyles, homes and businesses to adapt to the changing coastline.

With about 95 homes in Corton at risk within the next 100 years and tourism businesses relying on the local beaches, it is hoped that Pathfinder will help people come up with constructive ways to limit the effects and costs of erosion.

The project was officially launched in Lowestoft on Tuesday and over the next 10 months, people living and working in the two villages will have the chance to take part in workshops and events aimed at creating ideas and planning for the future.

The scheme, which is being led by Waveney District Council with Suffolk County council and Suffolk Coastal Futures, is one of 15 Pathfinder projects across the country which was set up with money from the department for food, environment and rural affairs last year.

Ken Sale, Waveney council's portfolio holder for the greenest county, said: “The issue of coastal erosion is pressing and emotive. The government is committed to effective management of our coastline and will defend against erosion where it is sustainable and affordable.

“However there will be some locations where it is not sustainable to build new defence structures, or to maintain existing ones. Where this is the case, communities will need to start preparing for, and managing, change.

“In this current climate of tight budgets and spending cuts it is reassuring to be granted this fund, which will be used to support community engagement and planning.”

A new Pathfinder website, which features information about erosion, details of the Pathfinder events and an interactive forum so that local people can put forward their ideas, has also been launched at www.waveney-pathfinder.com.

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