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Broads flood plans dropped

PUBLISHED: 09:34 31 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:31 03 July 2010

Safe - for now: Waxham and Sea Palling were two of the villages under threat from proposals contained in the original Natural England report.

Safe - for now: Waxham and Sea Palling were two of the villages under threat from proposals contained in the original Natural England report.

DEVASTATING proposals to surrender 25 square miles of the Broads to the North Sea have been officially dropped by government conservation advisers.

Natural England has bowed to public opinion over the proposals, which would have resulted in the flooding of at least six villages, and the destruction of hundreds of homes, thousands of acres of farmland and some of Norfolk's top wildlife sites.

DEVASTATING proposals to surrender 25 square miles of the Broads to the North Sea have been officially dropped by government conservation advisers.

Natural England has bowed to public opinion over the proposals, which would have resulted in the flooding of at least six villages, and the destruction of hundreds of homes, thousands of acres of farmland and some of Norfolk's top wildlife sites.

The proposals caused outrage after they were first revealed, prompting thousands of people to campaign against them.

Natural England had suggested surrender to the sea as one of four options in a draft report into how climate change might affect the Broads, but has now removed these from the final version of the document, published yesterday.

In the report, Natural England confirms its support for the current policy of holding the current line of sea defences along the coast between Eccles and Winterton for at least 50 years, stressing that it is an adviser on flood risk policy and not the final decision-maker.

But it warns of the threat posed by rising sea levels, adding: “The future of the Broads depends on the actions we all take today to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

“This, combined with decisions we make about managing our landscapes to adapt to unavoidable climate change, will determine whether we continue to have a high-quality landscape that is cherished and respected by all.”

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