Long-term deal for flood defence funding in West Norfolk ‘close’

Lynn's flood defences hold - but only just. The water nearly made the very top of the flood defences at St Margarets Lane on the South Quay
Lynn's flood defences hold - but only just. The water nearly made the very top of the flood defences at St Margarets Lane on the South Quay

A deal is moving closer that officials say will guarantee flood defence money for the West Norfolk coast for at least 10 years.

The borough has been awarded £380,000 towards the cost of protecting the coastline from the elements.

A report published ahead of the latest borough council meeting this Thursday says progress is being made towards a more permanent solution for the stretch of coast between Wolferton Creek and Hunstanton.

Ian Devereux, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Legal arrangements are being finalised to underpin coastal protection for at least the next decade.”

As well as the borough council, the discussions involve the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and the local community interest company set up to co-ordinate local fundraising efforts for the annual beach recycling work.

Mr Devereux’s report confirmed the allocation of £300,000 towards the cost of a future beach recharge project, which had first been revealed by the council last month.

A further £80,000 will be spent on a management plan for the Hunstanton beach and cliffs area.

The cash has been allocated by the Regional Flooding and Coastal Committee, which has been the focus of some councillors’ claims that the borough is losing out on substantial additional funding by not being covered by the eastern regional committee.

Mr Devereux said the borough was also addressing concerns raised by parish councils about calls for them to contribute to defence costs.

Last month, town councillors in Hunstanton rejected a request from the borough council to make a financial contribution to the work.

That meeting was told the borough was seeking more than £100,000 between them and the nearby parishes of Heacham, Snettisham, Dersingham and Ingoldisthorpe.