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Sea Defences

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

Tendring district council has developed proposals for investment in coastal defences. Those are being considered by the Environment Agency.

It is likely that unless action is taken the sea wall at Holland-on-Sea will soon be lost. If that happens, it will put the roadway and housing at risk. In view of that, will the Minister make a commitment now to begin phase one of the work that we had been promised back in 2003?

I have had a look at this specific case in response to the hon. Gentleman’s correspondence on behalf of his constituents. A grant of £400,000 was given in 2004 for the collapsed sea wall at Holland-on-Sea. The council itself spends some £550,000 per year recurrently on defences. It is not the case that an application was granted and then withdrawn; it is the case that the application that was subsequently submitted did not pass the new rules that had by then been put in place. However, as I have said, the Environment Agency is now looking at the future requirements in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency.