Fears raised over Corton erosion following Hopton sea defence approval

Stephen Pavey,chairman on Corton parish council, is worried that the beach at Corton will be eroded

Stephen Pavey,chairman on Corton parish council, is worried that the beach at Corton will be eroded thanks to sea defence work at Hopton - Credit: Nick Butcher

Concerns were voiced this week that a multi-million pound sea defence scheme could accelerate erosion on parts of Waveney's coastline.

Stephen Pavey, chairman of Corton Parish Council, fears the work to defend Hopton could result in other vulnerable beaches being swept away.

Mr Pavey made his comments after Bourne Leisure – the owner of Hopton Holiday Park – was given permission by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to install granite groynes to protect the adjoining beach and cliffs.

But while he says he understands the need for Bourne Leisure to carry out the work, he fears it will simply move the erosion south by causing backwash further down the coast – starting at Corton and continuing in Lowestoft.

So concerned is Mr Pavey that he is calling for changes to be made to the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for Yarmouth and Waveney area – which proposes a policy of 'managed retreat' for Corton – to allow proteective groynes to be installed on its beach too.

He was given a glimmer of hope this week when it emerged the SMP could be reviewed and possibly modified.

'By constructing the groynes at Hopton, it will have a detrimental effect on other property further down the coast,' Mr Pavey said.

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'Corton Parish Council supports Hopton in its efforts to protect its coastline and fishtail groynes, in our opinion, is the way to go. We also feel this work should be started as soon as possible.

'Fishtail groynes should be installed as a minimum from Gorleston to Kessingland to lay down a new beach and protect the cliffs we have.'

When the £7m Hopton scheme was approved last month, Yarmouth council agreed to monitor the work to see if it caused problems elsewhere and that, if it did, to 'trigger' remedial action.

In its comment on the application, Waveney District Council said it approved of the work but recommended that Bourne Leisure should meet the cost if there was any resulting damage to the district's coastal frontage and defences.

In its response, Waveney also acknowledges that the situation on the east coast has changed since 2012 when the SMP was drawn up – and a review was now taking place.

The report says: 'The revision to the SMP policy, if any, will be considered during the forthcoming development of the Gorleston to Lowestoft Coastal Strategy.'

Yarmouth council confirmed that Corton Parish Council would be consulted as part of the process to draw up the new strategy.

Earlier tihs month a giant barge carrying 26,000 tonnes of rock had moored off Hopton as part of Bourne Leisure's plans to create 10 new groynes.

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