£800,000 bid to protect seafront from erosion

PUBLISHED: 08:58 11 July 2014 | UPDATED: 08:58 11 July 2014

A section of Lowestoft South beach is still closed.

A section of Lowestoft South beach is still closed.

An £800,000 scheme will start later this summer to protect Lowestoft’s seafront from erosion.

Work to repair the south beach promenade and defend the storm-battered sea wall from further damage is due to begin in early September to avoid disruption over the peak holiday season.

But hopes that the town’s award-winning south beach might be restored to its former glory have been dashed by a lack of government funding.

Details of the seafront defence scheme were announced this week by Waveney District Council. The first phase will see rocks placed on the beach to prevent the potential collapse of the sea wall, and it is hoped that a second phase – costing an extra £900,000 – will start in the spring next year.

With the beach, sea walls and access points in south Lowestoft – running from the South Pier to Parade Road South – badly affected last winter by storms and increased erosion, some sections of the beach and promenade edge were closed on safety grounds.

Detailed assessments were carried out to assess the damage and these found the southern section of flint sea wall was at an increased risk of collapse.

A Waveney spokesman said: “The Environment Agency has offered a conditional grant for the initial protection work.

“However, this will only be payable once the work has been completed.”

Once this grant has been paid, the council can then commit resources to the phase two repair work on the promenade, and further protection of the northern flint sea wall at the popular Children’s’ Corner area, which is likely to take the total cost of the project to about £1.7m.

Waveney’s leader Colin Law said: “With such a scarcity of available funding, we have to carefully manage the work that needs to be done and the absolute number one priority is to protect the seafront from further damage.”

The scheme will take about 10 weeks and should be finished by November.

Bruce Provan, Waveney’s cabinet member for tourism, said: “By getting under way in September we will reduce the impact of the works while still ensuring that it is completed ahead of the winter.”

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