AREAS of the Suffolk coast will not be abandoned “unless it is absolutely necessary”, the chairman of the Environment Agency said yesterday as he held a series of meetings with groups concerned at plans to stop maintaining some of the estuary defences.
Lord Smith, who was flown by helicopter up the coast from Bawdsey to Easton Bavents, said he wanted the agency to work with local communities to identify the best solutions and find funding from a variety of possible sources.
“We want to make sure we protect as much as possible. We need to agree solutions for each individual estuary. I certainly don’t want to abandon anything unless we absolutely have to,” he said. (more…)
October 29, 2008
October 28, 2008
SEA defence campaigners will today urge top decision-makers to help remove legal barriers to enable public-private partnerships to “hold the line” on the Suffolk coast for at least the next 20 years.
Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, is due to see the eroding coastline and meet groups which are opposing the agency’s plans to phase out the maintenance of flood walls in Suffolk’s estuaries.
The agency – working within updated guidelines issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – believes the work would not be sustainable and cannot be justified, economically or environmentally, especially in the face of rising sea levels.
However, campaigners will today call on Lord Smith to help local authorities and landowners to “hold the line” for the next 20 years to allow more knowledge to be developed about coastal trends. (more…)
October 27, 2008
Coastal communities across the country are being urged to unite in a single strong voice as they battle for Whitehall help to fight erosion problems.
The initiative comes from a Norfolk MP who is calling a Westminster-based conference to put the issues faced by threatened seaside towns and villages on a national stage.
Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb says it is unfair that such communities are facing the brunt of picking up the bill for the impact of climate change – when the whole nation is responsible for causing it.
His calls came as the true cost of abandoning north Norfolk’s sea defences was highlighted in a report seeking to help campaigners battle to get a better deal for people who homes, businesses and communities are on that front line. (more…)
October 21, 2008
In an article on the Public Service website, Chris Smith (Lord Smith of Finsbury), the new chairman of the Environment Agency, talks about the challenges facing him and his agency is to relate the giant, global issues surrounding climate change to the grassroots level, connecting to local communities and involving them in decision making.
“The environment and our stewardship of it is quite simply the most important issue facing our generation,” he says. “The Environment Agency stands at the point where environmental change has its greatest impact on the lives of ordinary people. It’s where floods and water quality, and planning and handling of waste and a whole range of other issues are both directly relevant to people and have their greatest impact.”
It is vital that the agency works alongside communities, rather than imposing solutions on them, Lord Smith argues. (more…)
October 19, 2008
Communities were yesterday given the clearest indication yet by a government agency that they can build their own DIY sea and flood defences if no government money can be found to protect homes and land.
But the move was branded as “yet another cop out” in the management of the coast by a leading coastal campaigner.
The Environment Agency (EA) plans to stop maintaining defences around the Blyth estuary, near Southwold, over the next 20 years, which could leave thousands of acres of farmland, about 20 homes and the A12 Ipswich to Lowestoft road at increased risk of flooding. (more…)
October 16, 2008
More than 360,000 cubic metres of sand will be added to a beach on the Norfolk Coast as part of an £8.8m project to prevent the Broads from flooding.
Work to limit the flood risk to the Broads from the coast between Happisburgh and Winterton is well under way and recharging the beach with sand begins on Monday .
Three out of nine new rock groynes have been finished with rocks brought in by sea from Norway on a 20,000 tonne barge. They replace existing timber and steel groynes between Horsey and Winterton Ness Gap.
Other parts of the scheme involve recharging the beach with 360,000m3 of sand between Sea Palling and Poplar Farm Gap, reconstruction of a 275m long section of rock revetment (rocks placed to protect the seawall from wave action) at Eccles and 25,000m3 of beach recycling (the relocation of a small amount of sand from behind a reef to an area where the beach is low, also at Eccles). (more…)
October 14, 2008
Poorly-paid jobs, run-down towns and the increasing threat of rising sea levels will cause major problems for communities around the Norfolk and Suffolk Coast if solutions cannot be found quickly, environment chiefs said last night.
The East of England Coastal Initiative, which is billed as the first programme to bring together government officials, local councils, voluntary groups and businesses to tackle coastal problems, was launched in Lowestoft yesterday.
The project will allow the groups to work together, access more funding and provide better solutions to problems including employment, deprivation, erosion and flooding. (more…)
Potential social and community issues in the Kelling to Lowestoft Ness Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) have made it difficult for North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to accept these recommendations. In considering its response, NNDC decided to prepare a Coastal Management Plan that aims to address many of the social and community issues that the SMP was unable to tackle. The aim of the Coastal Management Plan is to develop a positive vision and address the consequences of coastal change.
An evidence gathering study aimed to derive data and support a strategy for the long-term management of change along the North Norfolk coast. The focus of the study is on managing change, to minimise the negative consequences of coastal erosion.
Adaptation to changing coastlines entails costs and how those costs are shared out raises issues of distributive justice. Many institutions have recognised that the current policy of putting the burden on the individual resident or business to manage the losses resulting from the change in approach to managing coastlines is unsustainable.
The final report of the evidence gathering study published in August 2008 is availble on the North Norfolk District Council website
October 13, 2008
The huge challenges facing the region’s coastal communities will come under the spotlight today when a major new initiative is mapped out.
Delegates at a conference in Lowestoft will focus on the East of England Coastal Initiative launched to address issues such as erosion, deprivation and unemployment.
The initiative is billed as the first of its kind in the country and brings together government officials, local councils, voluntary groups and the business sector in a bid to formulate a new strategy to tackle a wide range of economic and social problems. (more…)
In a blog posting, Anna Johansson discusses an interest in land and people’s relationship to the land, and in particular what’s happening on Norfolk’s eroding coastline:
I really like this: ‘oceans define borders but defy politics’ This makes me think about Britain’s eroding coastline. Certain parts of the coast especially in Norfolk is eroding faster than ever before. There are communities such as Happisburgh, Walcott, Mundesley that in the not so distant future might be completely swallowed up by the sea and wiped of the map. (more…)