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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/newhaven-flood-alleviation-scheme/newhaven-flood-alleviation-scheme
In December 2013, the south coast of England was hit by a storm surge 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 affected between 50 and 60 properties in the Railway Road area, as well as closing the railway line between Lewes and Seaford.
The Environment Agency, in partnership with Lewes District Council, is developing a scheme to reduce flood risk from the sea. The scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to approximately 430 homes and 390 businesses in and around the East Sussex town of Newhaven.
The scheme will be designed to provide a 1-in-200-year standard of protection, taking into account the effects of climate change. This means that in any one year there will be a 0.5% chance that Newhaven will experience flooding from the sea. This greatly increases the flood protection to Newhaven.
In addition to homes and businesses, the scheme will also reduce the risk of flooding to local infrastructure such as the road network, railway line and a train station. It will support the wider regeneration of Newhaven, helping to bring new investment, jobs and homes to the area.
The scheme covers both banks of Newhaven, including the commercial areas near the port.
Construction of the scheme started in January 2017 and is scheduled to be complete by autumn 2019.
The scheme has been divided into 5 areas:
- Area 1: A26 to Energy Recovery Facility
- Area 2: Energy Recovery Facility to Swing Bridge (East)
- Area 3: Riverside Park to Swing Bridge (West)
- Area 4: Swing Bridge (West) to West Quay
- Area 5: Swing Bridge (East) to Newhaven Beach.
The scheme is estimated to cost around £18 million, with the majority of funding coming from the Environment Agency in the form of central government Flood and Coastal Risk Management Grant in Aid.
The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and South East Local Enterprise Partnership are each contributing £1.5 million, as part of their wider commitment to regeneration in Newhaven. These contributions are essential to enable the project to proceed. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were established across the UK by government. They are partnerships between local councils and businesses that decide what the priorities should be for investment in roads, buildings and facilities in the area.
The Environment Agency always seeks funding contributions and co-operation from companies and organisations that will benefit most from the work. At Newhaven, the Environment Agency is working with Network Rail, landowners and others to help with building and securing additional funds for the scheme.
Construction update: March 2018
Works on the west bank are complete, reducing the flood risk to 244 homes, 88 commercial properties and vital infrastructure. The focus is now on the east bank.
Area 1: A26 to Energy Recovery Facility, currently under construction
The Environment Agency is building two clay-cored bunds to reduce the flood risk to properties on the east bank from the upstream flood plain. One bund starts near the A26 junction with the B2109 and extends roughly 500 metres west across the flood plain, where it will tie into a new railway flood gate built near the existing pedestrian crossing. The second bund will tie into the western side of the flood gate and extend to the Energy Recovery Facility. The crest of the bunds will be at the same level along the entire length. Beside the A26, the bund will be 1.6 metres higher than existing ground levels, and near the railway, where the ground falls away towards the river, the bund will be 2.7 metres above existing ground level.
The bunds are scheduled to be complete by spring 2018.
During extreme flood events, demountable flood barriers will be put in place across the A26.
Discussions are ongoing with Network Rail on the design of the rail floodgate.
Area 2: Energy Recovery Facility to Swing Bridge, (East), currently under construction
Area 2 extends approximately 850 metres along the East Quay from the Energy Recovery Facility to the Swing Bridge (East).
The Environment Agency has recently built a concrete flood wall between EMR and the Swing Bridge.
Contractors have started to remove some material from land occupied by EMR and Skip It to give contractors the working area required to build a flood wall. These enabling works should be completed by April 2018 with the construction of the flood wall finished by summer 2018.
Area 3: Riverside Park to the Swing Bridge (West), construction complete
The Environment Agency has constructed a 150-metre-long bund north of Cantell’s boatyard and this will protect homes to the west. This work is now complete.
Denton Island works are now complete with the pedestrian footpath and cycle paths now open.
Area 4: Swing Bridge (West) to West Quay, construction complete
Work within Area 4 started in January 2017 and was completed in June 2017.
A 140-metre-long reinforced concrete wall has been constructed from the south west side of the swing bridge to a point adjacent to the Ark pub. The wall crosses the entrance to 3 fishermen’s jetties and demountable defences known as ‘stop logs’ have been installed to complete the flood defence here.
A short section (about 20 metres) of bund has been constructed in West Quay, raised by around 250 millimetres. This bund is complete, and the flood fence is operational.
In Huggett’s Green the low-level grass bund at the rear of Huggett’s Green has been realigned and raised to meet flood protection standards. The total length of the bund is approximately 150 metres and it ties into the footpath near the promenade to the south. Walls have been built within the grass bund to offer greater levels of seating on Huggett’s Green and more seating and hand rails are provided around the existing circular paved area. This also supports the new flood gate over the promenade, which will remain open when not in use during a flood event.
Now that the bund has been built, the area has also been restored. Some trees have been removed and these will be replaced with native trees and shrubs around the existing paved area and the electricity sub-station to provide better screening. The area and bund were seeded and the new grass became established during the summer months. However, the recent heavy rain has had an impact on the grass. Once the weather improves, the park will be rolled and any low spots will be re-landscaped. The hand rails are now in-situ and all fencing has been removed.
Area 5: Swing Bridge (East) to Newhaven Beach, currently under construction
Area 5 extends from the Swing Bridge (east) along East Quay towards Newhaven Beach to a distance of approximately 1.3 kilometres. Planning permission is in place and detailed design is substantially complete, with some elements of the complex flood defence in the port area remaining to be finalised.
Works have been completed from the swing bridge to the University Technical College, which is of a combination of reinforced concrete walls and Gabion basket walls with earth facing on the riverward side.
Reducing the impact of construction
The Environment Agency will try to mitigate the impact of the work by:
- making sure work is only carried out between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. Noisy work will be carried out between 8.30am and 6pm with the remaining time used for quieter activities
- arranging large deliveries outside peak traffic times
- using water to dampen down machinery and roads to reduce the amount of dust
- giving contact details on signs around all work sites
- fencing off all working areas
- removing all fencing and hoarding as soon as reasonably practicable after the work has finished
- keeping working areas tidy and removing waste materials from site on a regular basis
- informing residents of how long the work is going to take
- making sure site lighting does not intrude into adjacent areas.
Protecting the environment
The Environment Agency has carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Environmental Statement was submitted as part of the planning application. This considered a number of topics including landscape, cultural heritage, ecology, noise, water environment and people.
Great crested newts were found in Area 1 and a mitigation strategy is underway. Japanese knotweed was found in Area 4 and a mitigation strategy was put in place during the work.
The presence of other protected and/or notable species include reptiles, breeding and wintering birds, and other aquatic species and habitat which supports otters and water voles were assessed. Mitigation for all environmental constraints has been identified in the Construction Environmental Management Plan.
The Environment Agency will continue to speak to residents and businesses that may be directly affected by the proposals, including attending local events, drop-in sessions for residents and one-to-one meetings with businesses on the east bank.
Construction of the scheme started in January 2017. The whole scheme is due to be completed by autumn 2019.
For more information about the scheme please contact Grant Moffatt or Oliver Sykes at the Environment Agency on 03708 506506, or email email@example.com.
You can also follow the project on Twitter @EnvAgencySE #newhavenFAS.