The project began after severe winter storms in 2013, coupled with the acceleration of beach erosion, caused significant damage to the seafront and forced the decision to close a section of the beach.
Without the intervention project, coastal defence failure could have led to the loss of the promenade within a year and residential and commercial properties within 10 years.Royal HaskoningDHV provided a range of consultancy services and design support for the beach and seafront after being commissioned by Mackley Construction in 2014. In addition Royal HaskoningDHV has provided site supervision and Principal Designer services for Waveney District Council.
This has included assessing existing defences, remediation options for Lowestoft South Beach, providing support for funding, consents and licences applications and construction site supervision.
Royal HaskoningDHV Project Manager, Tamzen Pope explained “The falling beach levels were making the beach less attractive to tourists, lowering its amenity value and compromising public safety by creating a hazardous drop.”“As designer for Mackley Construction, our design was divided into two phases. This involved the construction of emergency works in the form of a rock toe and Phase 2 which included a new beach access ramp, hand railing, beach control structures and renourishment of the beach.”
The ongoing damage to the existing defences increased the threat to public safety due to debris and falls from an unguarded promenade edge.
“A handrail has been included on the promenade to protect the public from a drop from the promenade onto the beach or the new rock structures. In addition the rock works have also reduced the risk to pedestrians using the promenade by reducing wave overtopping.” Tamzen added.
The scheme will help to protect 214 residential and 22 commercial properties, a Grade II listed statue, roads, the promenade and tourist attractions all of which would have been lost within 100 years of the seawall failing.The reopening ceremony will be marked by the unveiling of a project information board on the seafront by Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Council Leader Cllr Colin Law. Designed by Royal HaskoningDHV the information board highlights the extent of the project works and provides a brief history of the area for future visitors to the seafront.