The Environment Agency is delighted to announce the completion of its work on the west bank of the River Ouse as part of a major flood defence scheme. These works will reduce flood risk to 244 homes, 88 commercial properties and vital infrastructure.
The Newhaven Flood Alleviation Scheme has been developed in partnership with Lewes District Council, East Sussex County Council, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and South East LEP. Construction work started on 3 January 2017 following consultation with the local community.
JacksonHyder are designing and building the scheme. Construction has initially focused on the west bank of the River Ouse, where defences will protect mainly residential properties. Work here has varied from minor measures to plug gaps in existing defences, to sizable sections of new concrete flood wall and earth embankment. This has included:
- Building a 150 metre long bund north of Cantell’s Boatyard.
- Building a 130 metre wall built along the edge of the footpath either side of Denton Island Bridge.
- Realigning and raising the flood defence bund at the rear of Huggett’s Green, plus constructing various concrete walls in this area for seating and to support a new floodgate.
- Building a 140 metre long reinforced concrete wall which runs from near the Swing Bridge to just north of the Ark Pub with access to fishermen’s jetties.
- Raising 20 metres of flood defence bund in West Quay.
With just a few finishing touches to be done on the west bank, focus now shifts to the east bank. Work here has recently started, and the whole scheme is expected to be completed by 2019. Once finished, it will reduce flood risk to approximately 430 homes and 390 commercial properties and vital infrastructure, as well as bringing significant economic benefits to the coastal East Sussex town.
The whole scheme will cost around £18 million, with the majority of funding coming from the government in the form of Flood and Coastal Risk Management Grant in Aid (GIA). The ‘Coast to Capital’ and ‘South East’ Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), are each contributing £1.5 million as part of their wider commitment to the regeneration of Newhaven. This partnership approach will both significantly reduce flood risk to the local community, and provide confidence for developers to contribute to the regeneration of Newhaven.
In December 2013 the south coast of England was hit by a storm surge coming down from the North Sea. The storm saw hurricane-force winds and the highest tide in some places for almost 60 years. The tidal surge in the Newhaven area badly affected between 50 and 60 properties in the Railway Road area, as well as closing the railway line between Lewes and Seaford.
Gordon Wilson, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said: “I am delighted that works have been completed on the west bank at Newhaven, and that residents and businesses will now benefit from a significantly reduced flood risk. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Newhaven community for their support and encouragement throughout the construction period and ask for their continued forbearance, as there will inevitably be some disruption whilst this essential work is completed.
“When the Flood Alleviation Scheme is completed in 2019, it will reduce the tidal flood risk to hundreds of homes and a significant number of commercial properties in the area, as well as protecting important local infrastructure such as the road network, railway tracks and the train station. We believe that it will also contribute to the wider regeneration of Newhaven, helping to bring new investment, jobs and homes to the town, and the surrounding area”.
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital, said: “With the impact of adverse weather being felt across the world and the UK, improving flood defence resilience is of huge importance. We are thrilled to have contributed to a project which will not only protect the economic, social and environmental assets of Newhaven but will also have a direct impact on enhancing regional growth.”
Councillor Isabelle Linington, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environmental Impact, said: “I am very pleased that work is now completed on the west bank which takes us one step further to completion of this scheme that is so vital for local residents, businesses and community.”
Press Release from Lewes District Council