Temporary Lowestoft flood defences to be unveiled

Stormy weather batters the east coast.One boat battles it's way into Lowestoft harbour.

Stormy weather batters the east coast.One boat battles it's way into Lowestoft harbour. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Temporary barriers to protect Lowestoft against winter floods will be unveiled next week.

After the December 2013 tidal surge damaged several homes and businesses in the town the government, local councils, Anglian Water and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) came together to provide funding for sea defences.

But the permanent tidal scheme - which is part of the £25million Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project - will not be in place until 2020.

In the event of a tidal surge, the 1,400m barriers will be put up to safeguard the most vulnerable areas around the harbour, alongside Kirkley Ham, Waveney Road, Belvedere Road and Commercial Road.

Waveney District Council leader Colin Law said: 'Without any form of temporary defence, the people and the town of Lowestoft will continue to be exposed to the North Sea until the permanent scheme is completed in 2020. Having these temporary barriers will provide reassurance for people.

'In the event of a tidal surge similar to that which we experienced in 2013, the temporary barriers will significantly reduce the level of flooding.

'However they will not be as effective as the planned permanent tidal barrier and flood walls. Flooding can present a substantial risk to homes, businesses and infrastructure and people must be prepared.

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Mark Johnson, area coastal manager for the Environment Agency, said: 'We understand how devastating the 2013 tidal surge was for local people and businesses and therefore how important it is to have some way to reduce the risk from future events of this nature whilst the capital project is progressing.'

The temporary barriers have been acquired using £300,000 of additional funding secured by the Council from the Regional Flood and Coast Committee.

A trial construction of a short length of barriers on the Lings Honda site at Riverside Road on Tuesday.