Residents and businesses in Lowestoft will see the chances of future major flooding events reduced by at least ten-fold, after the Strategic Outline Case was approved for the 32m Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project (LFRMP).
The board of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has given final approval for a 10m contribution to LFRMP from its Growth Deal with Government. Further funding will come from Anglian Water, the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Suffolk County Council, The Governments Flood & Coastal Risk Management Grant in Aid and Waveney District Council, who will manage the project.
LFRMP consists of two main elements:
- Construction of reinforced and extended flood walls on the north and south sides of the entrance to the inner harbour, to be tied into high ground or existing defences.
- A tidal gate for the inner harbour, to be built in front of the Bascule Bridge
With the East recently experiencing a June heatwave, its hard to imagine the devastation caused by recent winter storm surges, but the memories of those affected in Lowestoft are all too real. In December 2013 a tidal surge flooded more than 150 homes and 230 commercial properties and closed key transportation links including Lowestoft Railway station and the A12. Flooding occurred again in the town in both 2015 and 2016, causing further significant damage and disruption to the local community and economy.
The risk of tidal flooding in Lowestoft is currently considered to be between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 in any given year*. Completion of the LFRMP would reduce that probability to a minimum of 1 in 200.
The project aims to protect existing homes and businesses from flooding in the Lowestoft Harbour/Lake Lothing area, and to enable investment and economic growth in the area by protecting existing jobs and providing new employment opportunities. The wider, strategic benefits of the project include:
- Safeguarding 10,900 jobs**
- Unlocking 3,500 direct and 8,000 indirect new jobs**
- Securing 499m GVA per annum and supporting the generation of an additional 195m of GVA per year, totalling 694 million per year within the area**
Following the approval of a Final Business Case, work is expected to start in July 2018 and be completed by September 2020.
Mark Pendlington, chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: This is a vital project with far reaching benefits. It will offer security to residents and businesses already living and trading in Lowestoft and unlock its vast potential for further economic growth. Add in the planned Third River Crossing, substantial investment in skills for the Energy sector and Enterprise Zone status on sites across the town and the future for Lowestoft is indeed a bright one.
Cllr Mark Bee, Leader of Waveney District Council, said We are very pleased that the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Board gave their approval for the 10m of funding to support the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management project. The tidal barrier and walls will not only protect many homes and businesses from flooding but will also give confidence to businesses to invest in Lowestoft, helping our local economy to grow and our town to thrive.”