Easter pledge over Southwold beach works

A controversial coastal protection scheme which has dragged on almost a year longer than expected, will not affect holidaymakers heading for the coast this Easter.

A controversial coastal protection scheme which has dragged on almost a year longer than expected, will not affect holidaymakers heading for the coast this Easter.

Work on the £6.5m Southwold project, which will protect more than 600 homes, began in January last year, with an estimated completion date of June 2006.

But work is still going on, with new completion date set for May 28 - almost a year later than predicted.

Last night, however, Waveney District Council, reassured traders and tourists that the project would not disrupt the Easter period, with all works being suspended between March 31 and April 16.

A council spokesman said: “All work is being undertaken with local businesses, residents and visitors in mind and this is why we will temporarily suspend activities during the Easter holiday break.”

The work, which has so far seen the construction of 16 new groynes and the introduction of 70,000 tonnes of new sand to the beach sparked outrage from traders last summer, who claimed their businesses had suffered after tourists were deterred from the town.

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But last night, Southwold Pier owner Stephen Bournes welcomed the news saying he was optimistic about this summer.

He said: “The beach is looking really good at the moment, and from what I can gather there are only minor works going on now, so I am optimistic people will come and enjoy the town this year.”

Adele Buckley, of Southwold Chamber of Trade, said: “It is great they are going to continue making the beach and the prom available, especially over the Easter period.”