Alde & Ore Estuary Partnership (AOEP)
In May 2012 the Association was instrumental in setting up the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership to take on local responsibility for upgrading and maintaining the river walls. This was an innovative and ground-breaking initiative. Representatives from the local community sit on this partnership including District and Parish councillors, landowners, business representatives, the Alde and Ore Association Chairman and a number of statutory bodies who are there to advise (Environment Agency, Natural England, AONB and County and District Councils). See http://aoep.co.uk/
The Association works closely with the Partnership, supporting it with research work. Our Chairman, representing the Association and river users, is a voting Partner and she and Amanda Bettinson, another Trustee who is also the Partnership Secretary, played a major role in the writing of the Estuary Plan. After a series of local public consultations in late 2015 the Plan, which received widespread support from the community, was endorsed in 2016 by Suffolk County and Suffolk Coastal District Councils and the Environment Agency.
The main features of the Plan are:-
- The river defences should be upgraded to a standard so that, in the event of a major surge, while they may be over topped, they should not breach.
- The estuary should be treated as a whole with the work being prioritised so that flood cells are dealt with in order of vulnerability.
- As the estuary is in a predominately rural area, it sits low in the scale of government funding priorities. As a result, some £10M* of the anticipated £12M* cost of the project will have to be raised from local sources.
- In view of the amount of funds required from local sources a proportion may be raised by enabling development. This is where agricultural land is donated to the Estuary Trust, given exceptional planning permission for residential development and then sold with the planning uplift being used for implementing The Estuary Plan. (SCDC have set very strict criteria to safeguard local interests – see appendix 10 of The Estuary Plan).
Some sites have already been identified for Enabling Development and the process of applying for Planning Permission will start in November 2018 following further community discussion about the Estuary Plan, funding sources and the extent to which any enabling development is required.
The main fundraising for the remainder of the local funds has now been launched at a series of well attended meetings in Orford, Snape and Aldeburgh. We would encourage members to contribute to upgrading our river defences. To download the fundraising leaflet click here and for the donation forms, click here
To access the AOEP website for more information click here
To read and download the Estuary Plan, click here
* Amounts updated from the figures in the original Plan.