Expert allays fears for erosion devastation at Corton coastline
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Maps showing predicted coastal erosion near Corton may be redrawn due to potential improvements to existing sea defences in the area.
Paul Patterson, senior coastal engineer at Coastal Partnership East (CPE), moved to allay fears that the town would be the next to be hit by the rapid erosion seen at Hemsby over the last week.
Possible erosion had been predicted to eat away at the coast, with the possible cliff edge moving to the main high street in the village within 100 years assuming the predicted failure of the current defences around 2030.
However, experts have said that there is potential for the sea's progress to be stalled.
Following a strategy study covering the coast from Gorleston to Lowestoft in 2016, discussions aiming to secure private funding to pay for improvements to extend are underway.
Strategy documents from the CPE estimate the cost of defending Corton to be around £20m, with the majority for construction costs for a 'hybrid solution' which could see a larger sea wall put in place, along with additional supporting rocks.
Mr Patterson explained: 'What we do and have done for the last 20 years is to make predictions for how the coast might evolve over time and then make decisions as to if, how and when we intervene.
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'The policy has changed to if funding can be found ,it would be acceptable to retain defences in these areas.'
He added: 'This is in response to consultations with local communities and stakeholders.
'In this case holders of holiday facilities have felt that it is appropriate for them to invest in coastal defences.'
'There is potential for work to be done in the Corton area that would resist the extent of coastal change that are shown in our maps.'
Despite this, dunes south of Corton and areas in the north will be allowed to erode in the hope sustainable beaches will form.
Addressing the possible erosion of the coastline and future damage to property within his constituency, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: 'I am very happy to play a role in working alongside property owners, business owners, and local councils to work up new schemes to address the situation.
'Corton is an area where I am conscious there are problems and the council are looking at this ongoing issue.'