The village of Covehithe in Suffolk and more than 1,000 acres of land would be lost to sea if the Environment Agency‘s Shoreline Management Plan is accepted.

covehithe cliffs

The plan, which calls for continued defence of major towns and cities from coastal erosion and flooding, suggests that Covehithe be surrendered to the sea in the next 30 to 40 years.

In addition to historic Covehithe, which has a celebrated 15th-century church, land and property at Pakefield and 1,000 acres of land between Kessingland and Southwold would be lost.

covehithe church

Edward Vere Nicoll, estate manager for the Benacre Estate, which owns land at Covehithe and the surrounding area, said: ‘Local people are all pretty disgusted and seriously worried.’

Mr Vere Nicoll added that he accepted the need for a ‘managed retreat’, but he strongly objected to the ‘sacrifice’ of a village and large tracts of land, noting that the plan ignored the willingness of local landowners to pay for work to help protect the coastline.

Suffolk County Council‘s cabinet is due to review the plan next Tuesday. Guy McGregor, portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, stressed that the council’s decision is still open for discussion.

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