The Suffolk consultation comes against a background of two other consultations – one by the Environment Agency and also one being run by Defra for Government on its policy response. Both the Chair and CEO of the Environment Agency in promoting the EA consultation have highlighted the option of abandoning particular communities where the cost of flood defence can no longer be justified and the Welsh Government have already made decision along these lines. Bob Earll
Suffolk coastal erosion: Thorpeness residents could pay more towards defences
BBC Coastal Partnership East will run a two-month consultation to seek people’s views from 31 July
People living on part of the coast could be asked to pay more towards works to prevent further erosion. Residents of Thorpeness, near Aldeburgh in Suffolk, contributed towards the £700,000 costs to put in geobag defences between 2010 and 2012. But a “more sustainable” solution is required, particularly after damage caused by the tidal surge in 2013, Coastal Partnership East said.
A former parish councillor said people “willingly” contributed last time.
Thorpeness was developed as a holiday village in the early 20th Century.
Coastal Partnership East, working on behalf of East Suffolk Council, will run a two-month consultation to seek people’s views from 31 July. It said the public consultation, called “First step in how we manage an important part of the Suffolk Coast”, will determine how best to manage the coastline.
Karen Thomas, head of Coastal Partnership East, said there were a “series of storm and wet weather events” since 2013’s tidal surge, which “increasingly eroded the coastline, not just at Thorpeness but also at a number of other locations”.
“There’s already a short-term solution but we need to look for something that is going to be more sustainable.
“People in the community need to have a say on that and possibly even be contributing towards it.”
She said local government had invested £150m in the Norfolk and Suffolk coast through Coastal Partnership East for projects over the next 10 years.
There was severe erosion in Thorpeness in summer 2010, which damaged the defences and exposed a series of gabions – rock-filled wire baskets – built in the 1970s. Members of the public paid £137,000 over two phases for the improvement works. Former Aldringham-cum-Thorpe councillor Mike Chandler said there was “already a precedent” in terms of the community absorbing some of the costs. He said: “It’s happened before and that was set up willingly by residents who were affected by the coastal situation.” Click here to read more