AOCP statement re Environment Agency information leaflet and resulting media report
The Alde and Ore Community Partnership met on the 1 April 2021 and considered the information leaflet circulated by the Environment Agency (EA) in late March 2021 and the resulting media reporting. They felt that it was imperative to provide some clarifying information, given that the media reporting and EA release could be considered to be ambiguous and has caused some concern within our local communities.
The AOCP is made up of representatives from the three tiers of local government, Suffolk County Council (SCC) as lead local flood authority, East Suffolk Council (ESC) and representatives from the town and parishes who are and continue to be at flood risk.
At the meeting there was unanimous agreement that it was necessary to reinforce our joint view that the investigation by the EA, which has been ongoing since at least September 2018, was delaying the AOCP and other partners progressing the project to better protect many hundreds of households along the river, as well as the unique environment of the surrounding area. It was strongly felt that the matter should be dealt with as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that reflected the interests of the community. The AOCP has limited knowledge of the detail of the investigation but has understood throughout that it related to the storage of material (clay) for use in reinforcing the flood defences on the river wall. The matter had been discussed by the East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board (ESIDB) and the EA at an early point and agreed as an innovative local solution to improving the flood defences. The Partnership understood that this material had been recovered from local construction sites, so would otherwise have been disposed of in landfill, and was being stored under licence from the EA until such time as it could be utilised to reinforce the flood defences in line with the Estuary Plan.
The Partnership has welcomed the support and work of the EA in helping develop the Estuary Plan since its inception in 2012 and the EA have been integral to the ongoing discussions and decision making. Over the past two years the AOCP has supported the ESIDB in preparing an outline business case to apply for some Central Government funding flood defence grant in aid (FDGiA) to supplement local fund-raising by the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust (AOET) which has been ongoing in parallel. This project will protect at least 207 residential and 125 non-residential properties, and 974 ha of tidal floodplain and one of the largest mosaics of connected wetlands in the country, with internationally protected habitats which play host to a huge range of wildlife.
Chair Alde and Ore Community Partnership
16 April 2021
EAST ANGLIAN DAILY TIMES 17 April 2021
Calls for Alde and Ore flood defence investigation to be completed quickly
Hundreds of homes in east Suffolk are still at risk of flooding as a “frustrating” criminal investigation drags on.
Community leaders have called for the Environment Agency’s probe to be completed as soon as possible, as homes along the Alde and Ore estuary remain defenceless despite major flooding in the past.
The Environment Agency’s investigation has paralysed work on the project since September 2018, with the Agency saying they were unable to offer a deadline for the investigation in a statement last month.
Following the Environment Agency’s statement the Alde and Ore Community Partnership (AOCP) — a group of representatives from Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council, and from town and parish councils that are risk of flooding — met and unanimously agreed that the investigation was “delaying the AOCP and other partners progressing the project to better protect many hundreds of households”.
Tim Beach, chairman of the AOCP, said: “It was strongly felt that the matter should be dealt with as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that reflected the interests of the community.
“The AOCP has limited knowledge of the detail of the investigation, but has understood throughout that it related to the storage of clay for use in reinforcing the flood defences on the river wall.
“The matter had been discussed by the East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board (ESIDB) and the Environment Agency at an early point and agreed as an innovative local solution to improving the flood defences.”