A combination of new gaming technology and a face-to-face event will be offered to encourage local people to have their say on what they value about Pakefield and possible options for managing the future of the coast.
On Friday 1 October at Pakefield Church Hall, Coastal Partnership East - the coastal management team for East Suffolk Council - will be launching the first step in engaging with the local community in Pakefield about future options to manage the continuing erosion.
Additionally, a virtual visitor centre will be launched on the same day using new gaming technology developed during the Covid-19 lockdown to ensure communities could still access information about their coast.
Cllr David Ritchie, cabinet member for Planning and Coastal Management, said: “We would like local people to tell us what they value about Pakefield, what is important to them and how they feel about the future management of this stretch of the coast. We are pleased to offer the opportunity to meet our team in person, but we also recognise that people need flexible access to information. Our virtual visitor centre can provide on-demand information as well as the opportunity to leave questions for the team and their feedback.”
During the 2019 and 2020 winter seasons, the erosion at Pakefield exceeded all predictions. Erosion of the cliffs at the southern end of the coastline resulted in the caravan park losing some concrete bases and the need to move static vans. This has also left four clifftop properties at risk of being lost to erosion in the near future.
Coastal Partnership East worked closely with the Community Steering Group to install a temporary solution in December 2020 funded by a private/public partnership and further private emergency works have recently been supported. Data, evidence and coastal processes are being analysed and options for a longer-term solution are in development.
Current information about the Pakefield frontage, why it is eroding, the project background, what has happened so far, possible options and next steps will be available. The centre will remain open throughout the duration of the project and will be updated regularly.
The drop-in event at Pakefield Church Hall is open from 5.30pm – 8.30pm where the project officers will be on hand to answer queries.