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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 07:06 GMT 08:06 UK
Flood defences abandoned says MP
Chelmsford and Maldon MP John Whittingdale claims flood defences are being allowed to rot away.

Concerns about the condition of flood defences in Essex were being debated in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

The MP says barriers are being left as part of a government plan to abandon some coastal areas to seawater, creating salt marshes.

Mr Whittingdale wants the government to provide compensation to landowners should areas be allowed to flood.

The National Trust has already demolished a 200m sea wall on Northey Island in the Blackwater Estuary off Maldon to allow the sea to reclaim some land.

It is part of the trust's work in the battle against coastal erosion, which it says has already proved effective.

The wall was knocked down two years ago, controversially exposing an acre of National Trust grassland to the sea.

Mr Whittingdale is concerned the practice will spread across Essex.


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