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Coast work grant hope

PUBLISHED: 16:59 29 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:52 03 July 2010

Dominic Bareham

HOPES are high that plans to extend the rock berm at Scratby to protect hundreds of homes will receive Environment Agency funding.

Bernard Harris, service development manager at GYB Services, told a Scratby Coastal Erosion Group meeting he was confident the £3.

HOPES are high that plans to extend the rock berm at Scratby to protect hundreds of homes will receive Environment Agency funding.

Bernard Harris, service development manager at GYB Services, told a Scratby Coastal Erosion Group meeting he was confident the £3.1m proposal to extend the berm by an extra 1km would be funded thanks to a new system for dealing with grant applications.

He said: “Under the existing appraisal scheme operated by the agency there is very little chance, but within the new application process we do have the ability to go to a national review board and submit an argument as to why we feel our scheme has merit.”

All schemes to mitigate the effects of coastal erosion across the country are scored by the agency according to whether the benefits of giving a grant would outweigh the costs, but the Scratby project is having to compete for funding against hundreds to protect the British coastline.

Planning and design consultants Halcrow is currently drawing up the plans, which it expects to have ready by March to be submitted to the environment agency for approval.

Mr Harris said after the meeting that the total cost had risen from £2.9m to £3.1m owing to higher fuel prices because the 42,000 tonnes of rock to be used in the project have to be transported from Scandinavia.

The granite rock is also produced in France and Yorkshire, but the better quality rocks come from Scandinavia where they are carved out of mountains and the bigger rocks, which are too large for Scandinavia's construction industries, are then sold for coastal defence.

If funding is given, the rock berm will be extended from Caister sea wall as far as Little Scratby Crescent, offering protection for between 100 and 200 homes.

Borough councillor Jim Shrimplin, cabinet member for the environment, said if the funding bid was approved the borough council would provide an extra £35,000 funding to bring it up to tender stage where contractors would be invited to apply to carry out the project.


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