Lowestoft seawall work to start shortly

SHIFTING SANDS; The erosion to Lowestoft's South Beach is clear to see in this aerial picture taken

SHIFTING SANDS; The erosion to Lowestoft's South Beach is clear to see in this aerial picture taken in late June.picture: MIKE PAGE - Credit: Archant

Preparatory work ahead of a major scheme to protect the damaged and vulnerable seawall at Lowestoft is to get underway shortly.

The scheme involves the delivery by sea and placement of 6,400 tonnes of rock from Norway and before the nine-week programme gets underway, initial work will see the creation of a temporary sand roadway and safety areas and possibly some drilling and piling work.

Leaflets are being delivered by Waveney District Council to residents to explain what is happening on the seafront and the extent to which it will create disruption.

All the initial work will be carried out between 8am and 6pm.

When the main works programme gets underway, rock deliveries may have to take place at night but only during the first week. Further rock movement and placement will take longer to complete, but this work is tide dependent and will only take place in six hour shifts, between 7am and 10pm, excluding Sundays.

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The flint seawall, which has been deteriorating due to increased erosion and damage from December's tidal surge, will be repaired as part of the work, as well as improvements to an adjacent groyne and the repair of a hole which has appeared on the promenade.

The seawall repairs are being funded by the Environment Agency at a cost of £1.4m and further expenditure will be required to bring the beach back into commission.

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The proposed second phase of work, expected to start in the spring, would involve stabilisation of the northern beach, additional repairs to the promenade and further safety measures.

David Ritchie, Waveney's cabinet member for planning and coastal management, said: 'This critical work will greatly reduce the risk of seawall collapse and is therefore vital to protect the town from flooding. However, the work will bring potential disturbance, vibration and noise.

'So, in order to minimise the impact on local residents, we have decided to forego night-time working wherever possible.

'We apologise any inconvenience caused.'

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