VolkerStevin was principal contractor to construct new sea defences in Felixstowe including 18 rock groynes, a 350m rock revetment, access steps, ramps and beach recharge.   Boskalis Westminster, as strategic partner to VolkerStevin, undertook shipping and beach recharge activities. The project involved beach recharge and rock installation including 65,000 tonnes of granite shipped over from Norway, to minimise the impact on the local communities and environment.

The new works have a design life of 50 years and were phased over two years:

Phase 1 – Groynes 10 to 18, beach recharge and additional temporary rock shoring for the part of the wall at Cobbold’s Point.

Phase 2 – Groynes 1 to 9 and the revetment and access way around Cobbold’s Point.

The new rock groynes (18No) were between 35m and 65m in length and between 46m and 62m apart.  Twenty new timber groyne roots were also constructed with concrete steps at alternate groynes to ensure safe access to each groyne bay for pedestrians and emergency egress.

The revetment around Cobbold’s Point comprised a 350m long rock armour revetment with a 5m wide concrete access way from the Central Felixstowe promenade to Jacob’s Ladder. These works included:

  • 80,000m3 of beach recharge from the south of the first existing rock groyne to the southern fish tail groyne
  • A concrete capped sheet piled access ramp 5.6m wide with a 1:7 slope
  • A 2m wide concrete Disabled Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant access ramp running along the promenade wall at a 1:12 slope with 1.5m landings every 6m
  • Navigation markers at the seaward ends of five groynes. The markers are topped with an unlit green beacon

Following successful completion of the sea defences, it is now capable of safeguarding approximately 1,500 homes from the effects of coastal erosion, as well as local businesses, tourist beaches, recreational gardens and key facilities.

The project was undertaken in a busy coastal environment used less frequently by the public, due to a reduction in beach levels which caused ramps to fail and limited access to the beach. By working closely with client partners, designers and key subcontractors, VolkerStevin ensured innovative solutions were developed in order to deliver a high quality scheme with minimal disruption to local stakeholders.

The project was delivered on time and within budget. A key aim on the Felixstowe project was to minimise the impact on the local communities and environment and VolkerStevin received a Green Apple Silver award.

The project also received an excellent Considerate Constructors Scheme report, which scored 36.5/40. The assessor commented: “This is an exemplary site. Eric has taken every opportunity to promote both the project and the Scheme to the public and to accommodate the concerns of the public and local businesses (re-phasing beach works etc). Sometimes finding ‘unique & exceptional’ items proves impossible but recognition should be given to exceptional projects that go beyond the best levels of compliance. Well done to Eric and his team!”

key facts

Waveney District Council


Central Felixstowe

Aug 2011 – June 2012

The project
VolkerStevin was principal contractor and Boskalis Westminster, as strategic partner to VolkerStevin, undertook shipping and beach nourishment activities


For more information about VSBW,
contact Eddie Tattersall

  01772 708 620