Ipswich Tidal Flood Barrier to protect 1,600 homes


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Media captionThe tidal barrier was unveiled in Ipswich by Floods Minister Therese Coffey

Flood defences costing almost £70m will protect 1,600 homes and 400 businesses over the next century, the government has said.

A £67m barrier is at the heart of the scheme, unveiled in Ipswich by Floods Minister Therese Coffey.

The Environment Agency paid for 80% of the project, which will defend the town from tidal surges up the River Orwell.

Dr Coffey said she was “delighted” to see the government investing in the “future prosperity” of Suffolk.

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Environment Agency

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The flood barrier, at the southern end of the New Cut (centre of picture), is designed to protect Ipswich from tidal surges for the next 100 years

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Andre Andzej Rudzis

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Foundry Lane, outside DanceEast on Ipswich Waterfront, was flooded during the December 2013 tidal surge

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Environment Agency

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The tidal defence barrier at the mouth of the New Cut has a similar design to the Thames Barrier in London

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The 200-tonne steel barrier rotates up from under the water, preventing excessively high tides entering the New Cut

The 200-tonne rotating steel flood barrier, at the southern end of the New Cut, can be raised in minutes and will be supported by almost a mile of new and refurbished flood walls as well as flood gates downstream on the banks of the River Orwell.

Dr Coffey, who is the Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal, cut the ribbon to officially open the defences.

The government’s most recent climate change projections predict sea levels could rise by up to 1.15m (3.7ft) by the end of the century.

The new defences will give Ipswich a much higher level of protection from the type of North Sea tidal surge which threatened the town in 2007 and 2013.

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Environment Agency

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Dr Therese Coffey MP takes a look at the control system for the flood defences

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Environment Agency

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Looking out to the North Sea from Ipswich, with the southern end of the New Cut pictured (bottom centre) before the tidal barrier project was completed

Emma Howard Boyd, chairwoman of the Environment Agency, said the scheme will “help people and businesses prosper in a more resilient Ipswich”.

The scheme has been funded by the Environment Agency (£54.6m), Ipswich Borough Council through the Haven Gateway Partnership (£3.4m), the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (£6.6m), the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (£1.7m) and UK Power Networks (£1.1m).

It has also freed up hectares of land for regeneration.



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