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.

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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

12 comments

  • I know you've got a seat to fight for next year Denise and all that, so I can why you might want to launch a petition. But you really don't know that much about coastal change and coastal processes do you?

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    beeston bump

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Firstly unless someone has found the magic money tree these things cost money and elsewhere on the EDP site someone has pointed out that some of these defences are to protect commercial premises, now imagine if these commercial premises were actually owned and operated by an MP (choose a flavour) or a Barclays Banker would you be so keen to give them a blank cheque. Here I do agree with Daisy Roots the cheapest of a long list of expensive solutions might be to cast an eight feet high reinforced concrete wall immediately opposite some delightful chocolate box properties along the coast. This solution would represent the same cost benefit ration as any other solution until you consider that the property is now no longer rentable at the current profitable rate.

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    George Ezekial

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Daisy are the people of North Norfolk not allowed to use a petition to give their opinion? It's an opportunity for those that may not respond to the consultation to have their say. Not everyone is as up to speed with developments like you. It's disappointing you'd rather score political points.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Firstly unless someone has found the magic money tree these things cost money and elsewhere on the EDP site someone has pointed out that some of these defences are to protect commercial premises, now imagine if these commercial premises were actually owned and operated by an MP (choose a flavour) or a Barclays Banker would you be so keen to give them a blank cheque. Here I do agree with Daisy Roots the cheapest of a long list of expensive solutions might be to cast an eight feet high reinforced concrete wall immediately opposite some delightful chocolate box properties along the coast. This solution would represent the same cost benefit ration as any other solution until you consider that the property is now no longer rentable at the current profitable rate.

    Report this comment

    George Ezekial

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • anything that raises awareness about this cannot be a bad thing not everyone reads the edp

    Report this comment

    Double Bill

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • with norman lamb and denise burke on the same side on this which party will disagree?

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    Double Bill

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Nope, still not with you here Ingo, if a consultation is open on the matter why shouldn't a petition be created? I am yet to find a politician who does agree with it.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • what silly party political game is coming up now, after the horse has bolted. Labour never could make their mind up in the past and I bet that this has not been agreed by their treasury team. This form of cold call campaigning exemplifies what turns people of party politics, playing footsie with peoples misery.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • That said Britain needs a national sea defence and flooding policy and they have to ask insurers to take some of the initial strain, but we can be as efficient and canny as the Dutch and we can generate a lot of electricity for communities via our currently undefended estuaries.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Beeston Bump I would take your comments more seriously if you hadn't hidden behind an anonymous profile. However you clearly know nothing about me. The comments on this site and the interest in the petition show we need a much wider public debate about the future of North Norfolk and our coastal defences. Its not for unelected officials of the Environment Agency to sacrifice North Norfolk to the sea.

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    Denise Burke

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Jeffrey of course everyone should be free to ask for what they would done, but I refer to Denise Burke's comment about the government cuts affecting the EA's plans-now if Labour was mooting managed retreat when in office not much has changed was my point. As for a national plan-there is one, or last time I looked there was a management strategy for the Norfolk coast. I would also add that what suits the Dutch may not suit us- Vermuyden's initial drainage methods had to be constantly reviewed and added to as circumstances changed and it is considered by some that they were never suitable for the Fens . I doubt than anyone on the North Norfolk coast or any of the Norfolk coast wants hard concrete banked defences with the sea lapping at them at all stages of the tide as is the case in some parts of defended Holland. I feel that where a coast line is accreting it should be given the chance to do so, where it is eroding there should be protection of vulnerable built up areas and special sites and withdrawal with defences further in land to allow a natural coastline to re form, something that I would have thought those who value the tourist pound would want to see.

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    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • This is the North Norfolk branch of the Labour Party that was in power when all the environmental agencies were debating whether it was worth the cost of holding the defences at Horsey? And did not, as far as I can recall, say definitely that the defences there would always be maintained? What a bunch of self serving "politicians" for want of a more polite word. When Labour was in power it was not a matter of reacting to government cuts but not maintaining unrealistic schemes or looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives-or that was their excuse. Now they are happy to niggle away at solutions they themselves proposed in the past.

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    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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