Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 15:42 UK

Coast cannot be completely saved

Environment Agency Land Rover on beach
The Environment Agency says the coast cannot be saved from the sea

The Environment Agency has said it has not been given enough money to defend the whole East Anglian coast from flooding over the next 100 years.

The warning came as the agency started work on shoreline management plans for the Wash and North Norfolk.

Defra predicts sea levels will rise by 1m (3ft 3in) in that time, some areas may have to be lost to the sea.

But the plans could include a new defence for Boston, Lincolnshire, and other important areas.

A briefing on the formation of the plans has been given to West Norfolk councillors.

'Prepared to sacrifice'

Roy Lobley, a team leader with the Environment Agency, told them there were hard choices ahead for them and for the Agency.

He added: "We never have enough money to do all the work we would like to do.

"Any sea or river defence just reduces the chance of flooding, so people who have been flooded in the past may well be flooded in future if we have a similar event."

West Norfolk councillor Brian Long said people's views would be taken into account, but he couldn't guarantee their views would change the plans.

But Brancaster councillor Tom de Winton was less impressed by the arguments for giving up land to the sea.

"Our forefathers drained the Fens, they kept the Wash at bay and private landowners put up sea banks.

"It just seems in the last ten years we seem to have rather thrown in the towel and are prepared to sacrifice, or allow to be at risk, large areas of our farmland.

"We are facing famine in certain parts of the world. If anything now we need our agricultural land more than ever."

Research for the plans will be done over the next few months followed by a public consultation.


SEE ALSO
Spotlight on Broads flood plan
08 Apr 08 |  Norfolk

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