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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 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 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.
Latest update: September 2017
Planning permission for the bulk of the scheme was granted by Lewes District Council in July 2016.
The Environment Agency also submitted a subsequent detailed planning application for Area 1 to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) and permission was received on 6 March 2017.
The Environment Agency is now working with SDNPA to discharge planning conditions.
The Environment Agency has appointed JacksonHyder to produce detailed designs and construct the new flood defences for Newhaven.
The main site office is in Lewes Road, Newhaven and construction started in January 2017. Design and construction are being completed in phases across each area.
Area 1: A26 to Energy Recovery Facility – currently under construction
The Environment Agency has planning permission to construct 2 clay-cored embankments to reduce the flood risk to properties on the east bank from the upstream flood plain. One embankment will start near the A26 junction with the B2109, extend roughly 500m west across the flood plain, where it will tie-in to a new railway flood gate built near the existing pedestrian crossing. The second embankment will tie-in to the western side of the flood gate and extend to the Energy Recovery Facility. The crest of the embankments will be at the same level along the entire length. Beside the A26 the bund will be 1.6m higher than existing ground levels and near the railway, where the ground falls away towards the river, the bund will be 2.7m above existing ground level.
During flood events, demountable flood barriers will be put in place across the A26. Outside of these periods these barriers will be located within a nearby storage area.
Work started in Area 1 in May 2017 with great crested newt fencing put in place to trap and relocate any reptiles that are found. Trapping has begun on the west side. An entrance for construction vehicles from the A26 onto the flood plain has been constructed along with the haul road and culvert on site. The Environment Agency held a public drop in event in South Heighton village hall on 5 September 2017 to explain their work in this area.
Earthworks are due to begin week commencing 25 September 2017. There will be 4 or 5 articulated vehicles arriving first which will deliver some large machinery. Approximately 25 lorry loads of chalk per day will then be delivered for the next 3 to 4 weeks. There may be some delays to traffic during these deliveries. As these deliveries enter the site, there will be no traffic control in place as they will enter the site as if it was a normal junction. Upon exiting the site, the traffic lights will be manually set to red to allow the vehicle to leave the site. This traffic management is in place as the trucks are large and slow and will be joining the fast A26. This will protect the lorries and the travelling public. This will be manually managed in order to minimise delay and disruption. The lights may be on red for 45 to 60 seconds with them returning to green as soon as a vehicle has safely left site.
There will be noise due to the nature of the deliveries and the size of the vehicles and their load, however, the Environment Agency aims to keep any disruption to a minimum. Contractors have installed noise and vibration monitoring equipment in the area.
The work to construct the bund is scheduled to be complete by the end of October 2017.
Area 2: Energy Recovery Facility to Swing Bridge (East) – currently under construction
Area 2 extends approximately 850m along the East Quay from the Energy Recovery Facility to the Swing Bridge (East).
All construction of the first section of walls is now complete and reinstatement of the area is ongoing. Completion of reinstatement is due by the end of October 2017.
Complex design challenges affecting remaining sections of flood defence wall in Area 2 required some fine tuning of the construction approach and the Environment Agency expects this work to be concluded by early 2018.
Area 3: Riverside Park to the Swing Bridge (West) – construction nearly complete
The Environment Agency has constructed a 150m long bund (embankment) north of Cantell’s boatyard and this will protect homes to the west. This work is now complete.
Construction of the wall along the A259 adjacent to Denton Island bridge is now half complete. A footpath closure is in place. The works are due to be complete by the end of October 2017.
Area 4: Swing Bridge (West) to West Quay – complete subject to finishing touches
Work within Area 4 started in January 2017 and was completed in June 2017.
A 140m-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 20m) of embankment has been constructed in West Quay, raised by around 250mm. This bund is complete and the flood fence is operational although the Environment Agency is waiting for some ‘caps’ for the top of the fence.
In Huggett’s Green the low level grass bund at the rear of the Green has been realigned and raised to meet flood protection standards. The total length of the bund is approximately 150m 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 the 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 embankment has been built, the Green 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 Green and embankment have been seeded and the new grass has become established during the summer months. The hand rails are now on site and will be fitted week commencing 25 September 2017.
Half of the Green is now open and the remaining half is expected to be open by the end of September 2017.
Area 5: Swing Bridge (East) to Newhaven Beach – currently being designed
Area 5 extends from the Swing Bridge (east) along East Quay towards Newhaven Beach to a distance of approximately 1.3km. 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. The new defence will be set back in places and flood gates incorporated at a number of points to allow port and harbour activities to continue.
The concrete flood defence wall will be finished to ensure its appearance is in keeping with the industrial/marine environment of Newhaven. Cladding will only be provided to the south of the University Technical College to the boundary of the public area. Construction between the Swing Bridge and UTC is expected to begin in mid October 2017.
Reducing the impact of construction
During the construction phase, you may be affected by the work. Some potential impacts include:
- impact on trading businesses
- impacts on amenity such as temporary loss of public open space and car parking
- footpath closures
- temporary impact on visual amenity
- delays due to construction road traffic
- noise and dust impacts
The Environment Agency will mitigate these impacts by implementing several measures:
- work shall only be carried out between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. Noisy works will be carried out between 8.30am and 6pm with the remaining time used for quieter activities
- large deliveries will, where possible, be arranged to avoid peak traffic times
- water will be used to dampen down machinery and roads to reduce the amount of dust
- details of who to contact for information will be available on signs around all work sites
- all working areas will be sufficiently and adequately fenced off from public area
- all fencing and hoarding will be removed as soon as reasonably practicable after completion of the works
- working areas will be kept tidy and waste materials removed from site on a regular basis
- residents will be informed of the work and its duration in advance of any site work commencing
- site lighting will be designed to reduce intrusion into adjacent areas
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 1 to 1 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 the Newhaven flood alleviation scheme project team at the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow the project on Twitter @EnvAgencySE #newhavenFAS.