Norfolk sandscaping scheme moves closer after agreement signed
- Credit: Archant
A multi-million pound project which could prevent homes in north Norfolk from sinking into the sea has been launched after a development agreement was signed.
The major coastal Bacton to Walcott sandscaping scheme will see about 1.5m cubic metres of sand pumped onto the beach.
The aim is to help reduce flood risk while also securing key national infrastructure at the Bacton Gas Terminal.
Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), said: 'This is a vitally important project for the UK and our east coast. We are proud to be working closely with Bacton Gas Terminal operators, Shell UK and Perenco, to enable this project to move forward.'
Sinead Lynch, Shell UK Country Chairman, said the scheme would help protect this part of the coastline.
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She added: 'The Bacton Gas Terminal is an important energy asset for the UK, and we look forward to working to ensure that we can realise the local and national benefits of the scheme.'
The scheme innovatively uses natural processes to reduce coastal flood and erosion risk, and Emma Howard Boyd, chairman of the Environment Agency, said it demonstrated the value of organisations working in partnership to fund better coastal protection for the community and the critical gas terminal.
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Community drop-in sessions were held in July to share information about the proposals and people have been invited to demonstrate community support for the project through the JustGiving page.
John Lee, NNDC cabinet member for coastal management, said: 'This is a significant project for the communities in Bacton and Walcott and our focus will be on keeping people informed and engaged as we seek the relevant permissions and approvals.'
The next stage will see a thorough environmental impact assessment carried out before applications for consents and licences are submitted.
The proposal relies on funding from a number of sources including the Bacton Terminal Operators and National Flood and Coastal Erosion Funding.
NNDC has committed £500,000 to the construction of the scheme, the Regional Flood and Coast Defence Committee (Eastern) has committed the same amount through the local levy, and £120,000 will come from the National Natural Flood Management Fund.