Article credit: Katy Sandalls, East Anglian Daily Times, 4 May 2019
Since the 2013 tidal surge, more than £1.2million has been spent to protect Woodbridge from flooding, including the replacement of parts of the town’s defence wall from Tide Mill Way to the railway station and the installation of steel defences from the railway station to the Deben Rowing Club.
The Whisstocks floodgate, owned and managed by Woodbridge Town Council, was also installed as part of the work to the former Whisstocks Yard in 2017.
But the town council has been working with the Environment Agency and heavy plant specialists tru7group on contingency plans should the Whisttocks floodgate ever fail.
Their plans include bringing in 93 one-tonne bags of sand to block the gap, with tru7group promising to provide materials and manpower should they ever be needed.
Town mayor David Mortimer said: “There has been a huge amount of work between us, tru7group and the Environment Agency to create the contingency plan and then to put this agreement in place.
“We hope we will never have to use it but at least we know that it is there if a disaster should ever happen.”
John Houston, safety, health and environmental officer for tru7group, said: “It is wonderful that we can help and support Woodbridge Town Council and the people of Woodbridge.
“We all hope it will never have to used, but it is there should it be needed.”
The Whisstocks floodgate was required to protect a range of new buildings which were created in the space.
The new development included 15 apartments, ground floor commercial space, a restaurant, a boatshed for construction of a replica Saxon ship, and a new home for Woodbridge Museum.