AOEP Estuary Plan Agreed by Suffolk County Council

PRESS RELEASE
22ND MARCH 2016

At the cabinet meeting on 22nd March in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk County Council voted unanimously to endorse the Alde and Ore Estuary Plan for the strategic management of the flood defences in the estuary.

Councillor Mathew Hicks, cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, presented the plan and said “I recommend to Cabinet the endorsement of this Plan and once again congratulate the Alde & Ore Estuary Partnership on its development.”

The Plan details the preferred management for the river walls with a ‘resilience’ approach, to ensure river walls can resist breaching even if overtopped, avoiding catastrophic flooding to low lying homes and farmland as was seen in 1953 and more recently in 2013.    Pumps and sluices will evacuate the water quickly which is considerably less expensive than the cost of repairing numerous breaches.   This innovative approach is not currently captured in any recognised plans.

Government funding is now very limited for rural areas and after extensive public consultation it is evident the local community are behind the efforts to raise substantial funds to cover the gap between limited Flood Defence Grant in Aid Funds and the cost of the required upgrading of the defences. Some £7-10 million will be required in total over the coming years for total upgrading of the walls, some of which will come from Government funding, some from enabling development and the remainder from appeals, donations and applications to charity and statutory sources.

Sir Edward Greenwell, Bt., Chairman of the Alde and Ore Partnership said “this is the first step to endorsement by all the statutory bodies and a great boost to all those who have worked so hard over the last few years ensuring the preservation of the Alde and Ore Estuary as we know it.”

The Estuary Plan will be considered by the Suffolk Coastal Forum on 12th April, the Environment Agency’s Regional Flood and Coastal Committee on 15th April and SCDC on the 3rd May who will give the final endorsement.

Amanda Bettinson
Partnership Secretary, Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership

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