A closer look at Great Yarmouth’s £28.6m tidal defence scheme
16:26 31 January 2014
Archant Norfolk © 2014
The first phase of a multimillion pound project to repair and reinforce Great Yarmouth’s sea defences is underway.
Environment Agency (EA) experts were at Yarmouth’s Town Hall today to explain the importance of their £28.6m scheme to repair the flood wall in Cobholm and Southtown.
The first phase of work will see 128 metres of existing tidal defences along the quayside reconstructed. The work, taking place between Richard’s Dry Docks and Ferry Lane, has already started and is expected to last seven months.
Dr Charlie Beardall, area manager from the EA, said the scheme was the agency’s “most significant” recent investment in flood defences
- and “absolutely vital” for residents and businesses.
He said: “A lot of people in Yarmouth are at risk of flooding; nearly 10,000 properties are in the flood plain. It’s paramount that the flood walls are up to the job and can protect people if there is flooding.
“They stood up to the big test on December 5 when the tidal surge hit, but we need to be confident that they will do the same if it happens again.
“This work we’re doing now is not as a result of that surge or of the 2007 flooding, we’ve been working on this for many years and it has taken a long time to get the funding in place.”
A total of 660 metres of flood wall will eventually repaired, protecting more than 2,500 properties.
The first phase, due to last from now until 2016, will be followed by further extensive works over the next 20 years.
At the drop-in session yesterday - an event organised by Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis and supported by the EA and Great Yarmouth Borough Council in light of last month’s tidal surge, members of the public were encouraged to find out more about what happened on December 5, why and how to protect their homes if it happens again.
The EA’s £28.6m flood defence scheme secured planning permission in February last year.
The cash has been allocated from a £120m acceleration and economic growth fund announced in the 2012 Autumn Statement intended to speed up the construction of around 50 flood schemes across England.
The drop-in session runs until 7pm today, Friday.