Flood defence plan deadline extended

Campaigners battling government plans to withdraw flood defence funds in north Suffolk welcomed the extension to the scheme's consultation period yesterday.

Campaigners battling government plans to withdraw flood defence funds in north Suffolk welcomed the extension to the scheme's consultation period yesterday.

The Environment Agency (EA) published a draft strategy in September which proposes a policy of “no active intervention” along the Blyth estuary, leaving homes, land and transport links at increased risk of flooding.

EA officials said they could no longer justify spending more money than the value of the land and property at risk in the face of rising sea levels.

The consultation was due end on January 4, but the deadline was put back to February 29 to allow more opportunity for people to read cost-benefit reports which have been placed on the agency's website.


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The EA's area manager, Dr Charles Beardall, said: “We must apologise that the detailed reports have only just been put on our website.

“We know this means that people won't have enough time to look at the reports in detail before the original end of the consultation period, so we have extended it to take full account of the delay.”

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Suffolk councillor Guy McGregor, chairman of the Blyth Estuary Strategy Group, said: “This extra time will give the local authorities an opportunity to challenge the policy being promoted by the government.

“I will be contacting the local members of Parliament to ensure a robust and competent response is given on behalf of the people in Suffolk.”

t The EA reports can be viewed at www.suffolkestuaries.co.uk and comments can be emailed to blythestuary@environment-agency.co.uk

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