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Campaign calls for north Norfolk flood defences to be reinstated - and improved

PUBLISHED: 12:47 26 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:47 26 January 2014

Blakeney after the 2013 tidal flood.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Blakeney after the 2013 tidal flood. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

A campaign has been launched calling on the government to ensure flood defences along the north Norfolk coast are reinstated amid fears the shoreline could be left to the mercy of the sea.

The North Norfolk Labour Party has launched its Protect Our Coast petition after Environment Agency boss Paul Leinster revealed he was weighing up whether to reinstate flood defences in Brancaster, Blakeney and Salthouse, following the devastating December 5 storm.

The surging flood breached defences along the coast and some conservationists claim it would be a disaster not to seal them, and lose the freshwater environment.

The party fears Mr Leinster’s warning, coupled with government cuts to the Environment Agency, could lead to more communities being affected in the longer term.

Denise Burke, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for North Norfolk who lives on the coast in Happisburgh, said: “The Environment Agency are reacting to government cuts which has resulted in a drop in funding, so our message goes both out to the organisation as well as the government.

“Our climate is changing and events like tidal surges and flooding are likely to become more frequent. Flood defences should not only be reinstated but improvements should be made too.

“This is going to significantly hit villages, communities, businesses, and tourism. We cannot allow North Norfolk to be sacrificed on the altar of government cuts.”

■ To sign the petition visit www.protectourcoast.co.uk

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