Enabling Development update

Posted on December 5, 2017

Two articles published in the December Orford Village Voice



Since May the Partnership have agreed the modelling specification for the whole estuary and are now waiting for the final results. This will give us a good baseline model and it looks like the draft results are in line with the previous modelling undertaken and significantly underpins the Estuary Plan. It shows the impacts on other flood cells and highlights properties which may need localised protection. It will be necessary to discuss with the Iken landowners exact designs for that flood compartment, which will possibly include retired walls to protect houses and other assets. The final report will be available in late November and we will communicate our thoughts and any cost implications as soon as we can. You will be glad to hear Phase I of the Aldeburgh wall upgrade is complete. No further work can be started until we have the schemes designed, costed and relevant consents from the Environment Agency which will be some time next year, but it is hoped to be able to start some mitigation work (removing rare species, water voles, adders etc) from the wall for upgrading work to start in earnest in 2019. We expect to spend £2-3m a year across the estuary in 2019 and each of the following four years.


A public forum was held at Tunstall Village Hall on 10 November chaired by The Right Hon. Lord Deben to discuss concerns that the community had raised and to view the sketch plans for the currently proposed sites. Lord Deben discussed a number of concerns all of which are covered in the FAQs on the website. He hoped that if the community were unhappy about the proposed plans to raise funds through enabling development they might propose alternative ways to cover the significant funding required. We must all work together on this. The AOEP has decided to pause their enabling development plans in order to take into consideration comments received at recent public consultation meetings and to give more time for other sources of funds to be pursued. While the SCDC planners indicated, at a recent meeting, their continuing support for the use of enabling development to part fund the Estuary Plan, they agreed to pause the ED programme and this was confirmed with The Estuary Trust on Friday, 17th November. The main general appeal for funds was launched last month, and applications to the HLF Landscape Partnership and to other foundations are under way. Taking account of that, the AOEP has decided not to make any planning applications on sites for at least twelve months, i.e. not before November 2018. Meanwhile, informal discussions may continue with planners and others. By November 2018, following on from the whole estuary modelling, there will be a more refined phased and costed programme of flood defence work in the estuary. There will also be a clearer picture of the likelihood of success of other fundraising sources. Funding is in place for all costs anticipated in 2018, so this pause will not impede the progress of delivery of the flood defences. It will also provide time for further community discussion about the Estuary Plan, funding sources and the extent to which any enabling development is required.

AMANDA BETTINSON – Partnership Secretary, Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership


I live in Orford so I am aware of the concerns about flooding in this estuary area. The Alde and Ore Partnership, a group set up in May 2012, has held three Fund Raising Launch Meetings recently in aid of strengthening the river wall defences. At each of those meetings, held in Aldeburgh, Snape and Orford, we were told that questions about Enabling Development would not be taken, but full information about the proposed Enabling Development sites would be available at future meetings.

A public meeting was held in Sudbourne Village Hall at 3.45pm on Tuesday 3 October 2017, and another was in Tunstall Community Centre at 4pm on Friday 10 November 2017. People at these meetings asked searching and pertinent questions about the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership Plan for Flood Defence which includes reliance on Enabling Development. At Sudbourne, on 3 October, the meeting was conducted by a professional facilitator who was calm and competent and who provided the opportunity for everyone to ask questions and make comments. Through this fair exchange of views, I learned the names of the statutory bodies involved, a little about the duties of those bodies, something of the issues to be faced and also about complications involved in protecting this estuary and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I felt everybody was interested in working towards the best outcome. Questions from the floor asked for clarity on a number of issues. None of the questions were answered fully at that time. However, it was the beginning, and further discussions and ideas would surely come. At Tunstall Community Centre I was shocked and disappointed by a very different atmosphere. The chairman was not impartial. He was not prepared to give time for the meeting to consider some very important and complicated questions. There were several occasions when the chairman interrupted a speaker from the floor to tell them they were wrong. He did not thank them for their observation or point of view if it differed from his and he did not give full weight to the need for clear answers to the questions. The inference that I became aware of in this aggressive atmosphere was that:

  • People were labelled as being obstructive if they asked for clarity about certain things
  • People who suggested that there could be other ways of raising funds, were similarly dismissed
  • Nobody had the right to question the Partnership Plan

The chairman of the fund-raising committee was quite explicit that in his view without Enabling Development there could be no flood defence and if the community did not agree to that he said, “The plan for flood  defence would be dead”. Such emotive language blocks rather than helps understanding and contributed to the bullying tactics used by the chairman. I think this is no way to engage with the community. As one very experienced and thoughtful contributor ventured to suggest a certain amount of ‘scaremongering’ was going on.

As a consequence, I am confused. I was intimidated by the tone of the meeting. I was moved by the strength of feeling expressed by many members of the community that the Alde and Ore Partnership wants to use Enabling Development inappropriately. Enabling Development appears to be the Partnership’s ‘first resort’ where as it should be used only as the ‘last resort’. Enabling Development is being urged on the community, far too early in the fund-raising effort.

I am concerned that there have been only two public meetings so far at which it was possible to discuss flood defence and question some fundamental issues concerning the work needed, how it can be achieved, costing and evidence for the decisions already made by the Alde and Ore Partnership. None of those questions have been answered satisfactorily to date. Added to which the meetings were at inconvenient times for many working people; the attendees were unrepresentative of the greater community. It cannot honestly be said, therefore, that the community has been made fully aware of the Alde and Ore Partnership Plan, especially the reliance on Enabling Development within the plan and the consequences of its being granted.

I hope that other meetings will be arranged soon with the aim of having full and open discussions and a fair exchange of views. I also hope the meetings will be managed properly and held at appropriate times for all members of the community.


“Here is all I want to be” at Darsham Nurseries 2nd November to 4th January

Posted on October 27, 2017


Darsham Nurseries Café Gallery, Main Road, Darsham, Suffolk, IP17 3PW

2nd November 2017 to 4th January 2018

Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5.00pm; closing on Sundays and Bank Holidays at 4.00pm

Shingle Street     © Tessa Sinclair

The East Coast of Suffolk is an ancient and varied landscape, featuring natural heathlands, rural farmland and rugged beaches.  Away from the better known seaside towns with their social holiday ambiance, there is a sense of time suspended. A gentle evolution is taking place with its own pace and rhythm.  Photographer Tessa Sinclair has captured the essence of the area in a series of arresting images, entitled ‘Here is all I want to be’ which will be exhibited at Darsham Nurseries from 2nd November to 4th January.  The photographs are published in a limited edition book also entitled ‘Here is all I want to be’.

The Wave    © Tessa Sinclair

Commenting on the book Tessa Sinclair said: “‘Here is all I want to be’ is about being in ‘the present’, in nature. It is a journey of images taken on the East Coast of Suffolk, a place that has many layers of history and an ever-changing palette of light. The images portray both the tranquillity that we all seek from nature and the more unsettling and foreboding places, which are found here. They are immersive in quality and the huge distance from the grass or shingle at your feet to the horizon is mesmerizing.”

Winter Dunes      © Tessa Sinclair

‘Here is all I want to be’ in book form is a limited edition and costs £30.  The larger format individual photographs are also available to buy framed or unframed.



Tessa Sinclair is a photographer who grew up in Suffolk but studied photography in London where she is also a doctor. (After embarking on an MA in photography at Westminster University in 2010 she was drawn into making photobooks. This led her into working in collaboration with writers, editors, curators and photographers who have an interest in ‘the image’ as part of a sequence.) Her interest in the landscape and how we as humans respond to places stems from her exposure to peoples’ histories in the surgery and to her own experience. She is now publishing handmade books of high quality images, which people can enjoy in their own time, in their own space. She continues to work in both fields and finds they enrich each other.


Darsham Nurseries is a unique destination – first and foremost a plant nursery, from which parallel endeavours have grown, including its much lauded café, gallery and shop which all share a common approach to quality and a simple aesthetic.  It is the vision of David Keleel and a team of collaborators.

The nursery attracts many loyal customers. The café has become quite the meeting place for people from all walks of life who savour the uniquely-prepared home-grown food with Pump Street Bakery Bread (and the wine list). Others come for plants and horticultural advice or to find unique gifts, art and housewares that may not be available elsewhere.


Living Letters at The Lettering Arts Centre

Posted on October 2, 2017

Living Letters Exhibition: 6 October to 13 November 2017

The Lettering Arts Centre,

Snape Maltings,


IP17 1SP


More than 20 lettering artists and designers have each chosen an individual letter of the alphabet to create, using a variety of techniques and media. Seeing their individual approaches makes us look again at the 26 letters that collectively describe our world.

This new collection presents the work and imagination of today’s leading lettering artists as they pay homage to the DNA of our written communications. The variety of works in the Living Letters exhibition unveils pieces that are humourous, enigmatic, whimsical and scholarly. Letters are incised onto Welsh slate, printed by woodcut, or carved into oak and sycamore.

The marks we recognise today have been 5000 years in the making.  Throughout history, their visible expression has been shaped by the technologies available, by fashion and imagination. They’ve been scratched, penned, brushed, printed, drawn, carved, cast and etched. But as well as being functional, letters hold great creative and graphic possibility as evidenced by this exhibition.

The collection brings together the work of masters of contemporary letter design such as John Neilson, Tom Perkins and Peter Furlonger.

‘Living Lettes’ also reunites Master carver Charlotte Howarth and her former apprentice, Louise Tiplady.  Through the Lettering Arts Trust’s apprenticeship programme, Louise was taught by Charlotte for two years from 2005 and is now an independent artist with an established reputation. Her playful work ‘Buzz’ demonstrates the creative possibilities of the contemporary makers.

Charlotte Howarth has created a study of ‘U’.  Look carefully at the piece and you will see underwear…

Charlotte comments, “I chose the letter U because it can be symmetrical, and therefore, I thought I could carve something and also take a print from the carving – making an interesting process for myself! The U is also big, a bit like a pair of super large knickers. We have quite a few funny underwear stories in my family, and the idea just planted itself into my mind, a visual image, ready to be made. In some ways, the work is a celebration of ageing and an acceptance of size, a joyful admission and glamorisation of a middle age woman’s underwear – and why not?”

The letters of the alphabet are the building blocks of our writing system, conveying the written word and the sounds of a spoken language. This random handful of marks, lines and shapes opens up a universe of thought and shared ideas, of experience, learning and exploration. Two basic elements – a straight stroke and a curved stroke – combine to give us the 26 distinct shapes we are familiar with. Shapes that, in their differing styles, give words a voice and character and enhance the meaning of the text.

All works are for sale, with prices ranging from £50 to £2,900.


‘Living Letters’ at the Lettering Arts Centre, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, IP17 1SA

Dates: 6 October – 13 November 2017. Admission:  Free to all visitors.

Opening Times: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays 11am-5pm. Closed Tues-Thurs.

Further information: www.letteringartstrust.org.uk  01728-688393 Twitter: @Lettering_Arts Instagram: letteringartstrust  Facebook:@letteringartstrust

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