Hazards from unstable cliffs
There are many miles of coastal cliff on the Anglian coastline, the majority of which are not protected by defences. In winter months these cliffs are at increased risk of collapse from a combination of unusually high tides and storms. The effect of erosion by wave action at the base of the cliff increases the risk of cliff falls which typically happen both during, and in the days after, a high tide or storm.
The Suffolk coast is approximately 49 miles (79km) long and runs from Corton on the Norfolk/Suffolk border to Landguard Point in Felixstowe. There is also a further 83 miles (134km) of tidal edge within the Blyth, Alde and Ore, Deben and Orwell estuaries that lie within the Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council areas.
Responsibility for managing this coastline is split between the Environment Agency (for areas at risk of flooding), private ownership and the Maritime Planning Authorities (for areas at risk from erosion) which, for Suffolk, are Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council, who have a shared Coastal Management Team.
You can see how the responsibility for the Suffolk coastline is broken down on our Coastal Management responsibility map. For clarity on which organisation does what on a coast frontage please refer to our Service Area Responsibilities diagram which explains who should be contacted depending the issue.
The two District Councils combined are directly responsible for 22 miles (36km) of the Suffolk coastline and have permissive powers (not duties) to carry out works over parts of this frontage to manage the risk of erosion. Currently there are hard defences (plus over 300 groynes) covering 12 miles (19.4km) of coast.
Coastal management can be broadly broken down into three sections: