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Coastal campaigner is honoured

PUBLISHED: 13:08 07 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 July 2010

A villager has been honoured for her role in a David and Goliath style battle against the might of a government quango.

Fifty nine year old Susan Lowes is standing tall after she played a pivotal part in bringing down a controversial policy to surrender her home and 25sq miles of the Norfolk Broads to the sea.

A villager has been honoured for her role in a David and Goliath style battle against the might of a government quango.

Fifty nine year old Susan Lowes is standing tall after she played a pivotal part in bringing down a controversial policy to surrender her home and 25sq miles of the Norfolk Broads to the sea.

The former bank worker was at the forefront of a grassroots uprising against now ditched plans by Natural England to allow her village of Potter Heigham and five others to be submerged by the North Sea.

And in recognition of Mrs Lowes' involvement in setting up the Save our Broads petition, which collected several thousands of names, she is to be officially thanked by her fellow villagers.

On Wednesday night, Potter Heigham Parish Council was due to present her with the annual Peter Sandell good neighbour award.

Mrs Lowes said: “The thought of them flooding this area was just a nightmare; it made me livid. I decided that instead of just sitting here and moaning about it something had to be done.”

The Natural England proposals to flood the Broads and the other villages of Eccles, Sea Palling, Waxham, Hickling and Horsey, were revealed last year, but were scrapped in March following public and political outcry.

Natural England now supports a policy of holding the current line of sea defences from Eccles to Winterton for 50 years.

Mrs Lowes' role in helping to force Natural England to change its plans was praised by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb who orchestrated a high-profile anti-flooding campaign.

He said: “She has been a star in this sort of grassroots uprising and

pulled out all the stops in the most exemplary fashion. She absolutely deserves this recognition.”

Mrs Lowes was put forward for the good neighbour award by parish councillor Jacqui Mayle.

She said: “Susan is a resident who decided not to sit back and let things happen without putting up a fight.”

As a thank-you to members of the Save our Broads campaign, Mrs Lowes will be baking cakes for them when she celebrates her 60th birthday next month.


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