Monday, 18 August 2008

Fresh fears over future of the Broads

A dose of realism - or the first signs of a U-turn over ministerial assurances that sea defences protecting the Norfolk Broads would not be abandoned to the sea..?

That was the question today after the new head of the Environment Agency warned stretches of our coastline are doomed and plans will soon need to be drawn up to evacuate people from threatened areas.

In his first interview since taking office, in today's Independent, Lord Smith of Finsbury warned Britain faced some hard choices over which areas of our coast to defend and which to surrender to the sea.

The stark warning comes just weeks after flooding minister Phil Woolas promised sea defences protecting historically-important pike fisheries in Norfolk's River Thurne and its broads would be maintained.

Six villages, more than 1,000 homes and thousands of acres of farmland would be wiped off the map, if proposals from Natural England to allow the sea to breach defences got the go-ahead.

Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Heigham Sound and the Martham Broads would be lost forever as the system became saline.

Ministerial assurance - click here.

Today's Independent Interview - click here.

More than 2,000 people signed an online petition on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website, before Phil Woolas pledged to maintain defences. If you haven't signed up already, click here to make your voice heard.

No comments: