Work starts immediately to upgrade the Aldeburgh Marsh wall
The Partnership held a very well attended Upper Estuary Stakeholder meeting in Snape Village Hall on Tuesday evening with representatives from parish councils, landowners, businesses and householders living in Snape, Aldeburgh, Iken and Orford and Tunstall. At the meeting it was announced that the Estuary Plan, detailing the flood defence management for the whole estuary, had just that evening been agreed and endorsed by the District Council, the final statutory authority to pass the Estuary Plan. Work can now start in earnest!
Tim Beach chaired the meeting and presentations among others were given by Karen Thomas from the Internal Drainage Board, contracted to complete the upgrading and David Kemp from the Environment Agency. They explained in detail the plans to upgrade both sides of the river at Snape to protect the village on the north bank, Snape Maltings and the nationally renowned concert hall on the south bank and the town of Aldeburgh by upgrading the Aldeburgh Marsh wall and any potential consequential impacts, albeit temporary, on Iken and Orford.
Work starts immediately on the Aldeburgh wall on 13th June, a three year scheme costing £1.95 million. Work at Snape Maltings will start in the autumn. The Snape village wall, upgraded last year following the disastrous surge tide in 2013, will have additional height added to the wall next year.
The Aldeburgh scheme is complex. In the main the wall height will be brought up to 3.3m and a crest wide of 3.5m to allow machinery to access the top of the wall. This width also gives a good space for footpaths and, should it be agreed in the future, even a cycle path. Additional benefits of all this work will be enhancing the marsh area for wildlife when clay is dug out for the walls. The whole area will be landscaped with ditches and scrapes to be used for summer grazing and wintering birds. It will look similar to Minsmere and a real plus for locals and visitors to Aldeburgh – maybe even Springwatch will be interested!
Funding all this will not be easy. Richard Marson explained that The Partnership anticipates in excess of £10million will be required for the whole estuary and only £1.3 million will be available from Government funds (Flood Defence Grant in Aid). Some of the funding is in place for the Aldeburgh wall but £1million will need to be raised locally for Aldeburgh alone. A Funding Group has been set up to access funds from other sources, both statutory (Council and District Councils, RFCC levee), the Local Enterprise Board, funds from Charities and Trusts, landowners donating land for enabling development but private donations and legacies will also be necessary.
Sir Edward Greenwell, Chairman of the Partnership said
“We can, finally, start work. With Guy Heald as Chairman of the Alde & Ore Estuary Trust we will now concentrate on raising the £10 million needed to fund this exciting task ahead of us….. to preserve our estuary as it is for as long into the future as possible. We have set up the Estuary Trust so that people can donate with tax relief. Everyone who cares for this landscape, for the pleasures it offers, and for the value of business and property in this area, needs to help.”
The Partnership asks that if you value this very special place and want to help protect the economy and all the wonderful amenities on offer in the estuary, please help by making a donation or giving your time to support us. Leave your name and contact details with The Alde and Ore Estuary Trust, so we can get in touch with you, by visiting our Donation Page.
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