Scrutiny delves into Shoreham flooding concerns

Released: Friday, 05 February 2021

Concerns over flood defences on sections of the River Adur are set to be addressed after issues were raised to the Adur and Worthing watchdog.

The Councils' Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) invited representatives of the Environment Agency to its meeting last week to discuss the £31 million Adur Tidal Walls scheme.

The project, which was completed in spring 2019, significantly reduces flood risk to more than 2,300 properties in Shoreham and East Lancing - as well as protecting important local infrastructure including the road network, railway line and Shoreham Airport.

While much of the work has been well-received, residents and councillors raised a number of concerns over some aspects of the work which the Environment Agency has said it will look into.

At the meeting, Sophie Mackley, Commodore of Shoreham Sailing Club on Shoreham Beach, asked why the completed scheme did not include the promised steel sheet pile wall at an area near to the mouth of the river known as Soldier's Point.

She added the lack of measures had seen parts of the beach washed away this autumn which left the boundary of the club exposed and a public walkway closed for safety reasons.

A temporary shingle bank was added in November but Environment Agency representatives agreed there was a need for something more permanent.

In response, Andy Walker of the Environment Agency, said a Southern Water pipe running under the river prevented any steel sheet work in the location. He added:

“We have been looking for some time at this with our project team to develop long term permanent solutions in this area.”

Mr Walker said he hoped to have details on a proposal within the next three months.

Other issues around regular cleaning of a disability access ramp, handrails and suitability of materials will also be looked at.

Mr Walker also said he would look into an issue at Surry Hard, near Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham town centre, where surface flooding was regularly reported by residents.

Cllr Keith Bickers, Joint Chairman of JOSC, said:

“This is a great example of effective scrutiny, where we are able to use our position as councillors to work constructively with partners to review a major scheme which impacts on thousands of residents.

“I want to thank the Environment Agency representatives for giving up their time to answer our questions and grateful for the clear and decisive actions they committed to taking after our meeting.”

To view the meeting and the discussion see:

Photo: Flood defences at Soldier's Point in Shoreham

PR21-021 - Flood defences at Soldiers Point in Shoreham

(PR21-021)

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Page last updated: 05 March 2021