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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  • Colin James Watling

    This untouched part of the Suffolk heritage Coastline has been eroding away for years now and in danger of toppling into the North sea-its only now that the coastline is approaching the Village of Covehithe and its ruined Church that the majority are being made aware of this problem.

    This is an unspoilt part of the British landscape and I would be as saddened as anyone to see the ruined Church of Covehithe that is surrounded in true English history and heritage be lost to the waters of the North Sea after 100’s of years of history and just what this Church can tell us all about our past.

    The erosion of the cliffline has been going on for years now and in some years of bad winters 25 to 30 feet of cliff are lost to the North Sea-its a great place for pleasant walks and wildlife-especially the unspoilt nature reserves that are highly looked after and respected by the local owners at Benacre estate-its brilliant place especially in the summer to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and to see a fragment of true England that I fear may shortly be lost forever.

    Colin James Watling-Local Man.