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£28.6m sea defence scheme for Great Yarmouth on show to public

PUBLISHED: 09:13 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:13 31 January 2014

Scenes of devastation after the flood surge at Hemsby. Homes in The Marrams which have fallen down the cliff onto the beach below.  Picture: James Bass

Scenes of devastation after the flood surge at Hemsby. Homes in The Marrams which have fallen down the cliff onto the beach below. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2013

Almost two months after the tidal surge caused devastation along parts of the east coast, people are being invited to find out more about the £28.6m sea defence scheme planned for Great Yarmouth

More than 660m of flood wall in Cobholm and Southtown is being replaced by the Environment Agency (EA), and other flood defences repaired, as part of a major investment in the town’s defences.

Construction is due to start next month and, in light of December’s tidal surge, details will go on show to the public today, Friday.

Approximately 20 properties in Yarmouth were flooded and several in Hemsby destroyed by the surge.

The drop-in session taking place at Great Yarmouth Town Hall from 2.30pm to 7pm will give those affected a chance to talk to experts from EA and Great Yarmouth Borough Council about what happened.

The event has been organised by Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis.

“The tidal surge in Great Yarmouth led to an enormous evacuation effort of over 9,000 people,” said Mr Lewis.

“Some areas, particularly Hemsby, were badly damaged over the course of the evening.

“This event will enable local people to understand what happened, why it happened, and what changes are taking place to improve our flood defences for the future.”

Dr Charles Beardall, area manager from the EA, said the Yarmouth tidal defence scheme was the agency’s “most significant” recent investment in flood defences. It will protect 2,000 properties from flooding.

Councillor Trevor Wainwright, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, added: “The Environment Agency and borough council are constantly working to ensure the homes and businesses of the borough are protected against flooding as far as possible.

“However, in the wake of December’s tidal surge, and the flooding seen elsewhere in the UK during the festive period, it is recognised that there is renewed public interest in this vital work.

“Therefore, the borough council is supporting this event, giving local people the opportunity to find out what is planned for flood defences in the borough, and importantly to talk directly to technical staff if they have any more specific questions.”

The £28.6m flood defence scheme secured planning permission in February last year.

The cash has been allocated from a £120m acceleration and economic growth fund announced in the 2012 Autumn Statement intended to speed up the construction of around 50 flood schemes across England.

Prior to last December’s surge, Yarmouth was hit by flooding in 2007 when more than 3,000 people were evacuated from homes in the town.

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