The East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board (ESIDB) presented their costs for the whole estuary upgrade scheme at the drop-in held by the Estuary Partnership, attended by over 100 people at Snape Maltings on 27th February. The overall cost of £26.9 million includes a £5.1m contingency and covers some 44 kilometers of wall from Snape to Shingle Street, taking 7-8 years to complete. Costs are based on a design of an engineering and environmental standard which is required to attract Government funding (Flood Defence Grant in Aid).
The ESIDB, who are responsible for project managing the upgrade, have been advised that potentially £10.5million of Government funds could be applied for in view of the national assets in the Alde and Ore Estuary. These include Snape Maltings and a wealth of internationally recognised wildlife habitats and, in the lower part of the Estuary, extensive grazing marshes which provide fresh water to irrigate this nationally important vegetable growing area. However, there is no guarantee, even if the Environment Agency (EA) confirm eligibility for Government funding, that it will be allocated.
With a local economy of over £100million per annum, there is a huge economic and environmental benefit to managing the estuary defences for at least another 30 years, making allowances for both climate change and sea level rise in the future. Detailed modelling by HR Wallingford (an independent flood risk consultant) has provided a robust model for the estuary since the 2013 surge and confirms that the works can be delivered in line with the Estuary Plan. This is a pioneering adaptive approach providing over-toppable but resilient defences which will give some 300 homes around the estuary a reduced risk of flooding.
Earlier this week there was a major boost to the campaign when the landowners and farmers had agreed a £3million fund and £1million in cash and pledges. They also agreed, having discussed the issue with The Estuary Partnership and Trust, to withdraw their plans for enabling development as a mechanism for fund-raising for flood defences in the estuary. Local resident Madeleine Wynn Higgins said “I applaud landowners for their decision to take enabling development permanently off the table”
The Alde & Ore Estuary Trust, the charity responsible for local fund-raising, is confident that they have identified how to raise the funds. Provided Government funding is achieved, it is anticipated that £16 million needs to be raised locally over the next 7 years, of which over £4million has already been secured. This will include local levy funding, Community Infrastructure Levy, parish precept, local donors, landowners, charities and Heritage Lottery Fund.
Professor Jane Maxim, Trustee and Funding Group Chairman said “We are delighted that Garfield Weston Foundation has given us a grant of £500,000 of which £100,000 is for match funding. A further charity application will be made this Spring, and we are now beginning to explore a Heritage Lottery Grant application for the lower estuary. We are poised to raise considerable funds, but we will need further support, energy and commitment from the local community”.
£4 Million Boost for Estuary Campaign
Landowners and farmers in the Alde and Ore estuary have raised a £3 million fund through the East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board towards upgrading work on the Alde and Ore Estuary plan. This is in addition to over £1 million in pledges and cash so far given to the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust by landowners and farmers, making a total of £4 million towards the project.
Sir Edward Greenwell, Chairman of the AOEP, said “Landowners have made a substantial contribution to support the fund-raising efforts for this important project. Our aims are to improve flood protection for all the local residents, businesses and the environment – not just farming – so we have greater certainty about flood risk over the next few decades. For the next 28 years, landowners will be paying £115,000 per year, a clear long term commitment to the importance of this project.”
Money already raised by landowners will be spent on the flood defence works across the whole estuary. These funds will also act as match-funding, enabling the IDB to apply for central government funds and support the Estuary Trust in accessing funding from a wider range of sources.
Professor Jane Maxim, chairman of the Funding Group and Trustee of The Alde & Ore Estuary Trust said “The Trust would very much like to thank local landowners for the contribution they have already made and their pledges of further financial support.”
Landowners and farmers, in discussion with The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership and Trust, have also decided to take enabling development off the table as a mechanism for fund-raising for flood defences in the estuary. Enabling development would have involved donations of small parcels of land from landowners and farmers, usually outside a village boundary, which might then have been given exceptional planning permission in order to raise funds for the project.
If you would like to find out more about The Alde & Ore Estuary project The Alde & Ore Estuary Partnership invite you to attend a public drop-in session on Wednesday 27th February 2019, 2pm – 8pm at Snape Maltings Trask Café.
A presentation will be given at 6pm in the Recital Room to update everyone on the cost of upgrading the estuary walls, projected income, both local fundraising and Environment Agency / Government contributions and the proposed programme of works.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
The East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board role is to manage water levels for internationally and national important habitats which the Suffolk estuaries are famed for attracting millions of visitors- important for environment and local economy. They also manage water levels to ensure the agricultural economy can function in very wet and very dry conditions, important for the food security, the local economy, jobs and growth.
For further information please contact Karen Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org www.wlma.org.uk
The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership has been working with County and District councils and statutory bodies to develop a plan for the future management of the river defences to protect the Estuary including businesses, houses, land and wildlife, and the local economy. The Final Estuary Plan which was agreed in June 2016 and was endorsed by all statutory bodies. The Partnership is chaired by Sir Edward Greenwell.
For further information please contact Amanda Bettinson email@example.com www.aoep.co.uk
The Alde and Ore Estuary Trust is a charity set up by the AOEP and is responsibility for fundraising and management of the funds to enable the Partnership to deliver the Estuary Plan on behalf of the local community. The Trust is chaired by Guy Heald.
For further information please contact Prof. Jane Maxim firstname.lastname@example.org www.aoetrust.org
Costs and funding information for Estuary upgrade schemes
The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership (AOEP) was formed in 2012 and has coordinated the approach for upgrading and maintaining the flood defences in the Alde and Ore Estuary. To date the Partnership has organised the assessment of the current defences and the design of the upgrades which will be required to give a 1:200 standard in 2050. This means in effect that, although the defences may be overtopped during a surge tide, the likelihood of breach should be greatly reduced. The Estuary Plan, now endorsed by all the statutory authorities and detailing the proposed management of the defences, can be found under The Estuary Plan.