Suffolk communities will have to pay for coastal defence

Communities threatened by coastal erosion have been warned that they should expect to contribute towards protection schemes.

Speaking prior to next month's Suffolk Coast Against Retreat (SCAR) annual general meeting (AGM), chairman Graham Henderson said that in the current financial climate it was unlikely the Government would completely fund defence work on behalf of homeowners, such as those living in Corton and Easton Bavents, near Southwold.

Mr Henderson, who lives at Felixstowe Ferry, said: 'Overall I think it has been a progressive year. However we are still in a situation where the Government has not revealed all its cards and there's no doubt that there's going to be a shortage of money.

'In the future I think most - if not all schemes - will have to be tackled through joint venture funding. I don't think we should expect the Government to be funding everything and I think they realise they can get communities to help - they not only have knowledge but they are also potentially a source of finance.

'We have to be realists, we all know about the finances of the country. Whether it's a �10m scheme or a �50,000 scheme, we may have to look to local communities who might benefit for some of the money.'

The AGM is taking place at Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, on April 9, between 10am and 1pm. Guest speakers include Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, who is expected to talk about the impact of the new government on his organisation.

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