Both businesses and homes in the South East of England are set to be better protected from flooding and coastal erosion thanks to new plans published by the UK Government and the Environment Agency, with £17.5 million being invested in more than 200 schemes in 2021/22.
This investment is part of plans outlining £5.2 billion in investment throughout the next six years. Over £860 million is to be spent in 2021/22, boosting the design and construction of more than 1,000 new schemes in England as part of the Environment Agency’s annual capital programme.
It is part of the UK Government’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Investment Plan, that outlines how new flood and coastal schemes will protect 336,000 properties by 2027, helping to avoid £32 billion in wider economic damages and reducing national flood risks by 11%.
Examples of flood defence schemes include:
Lydd Ranges sea defence scheme, Romney Marsh
The Lydd Ranges sea defence scheme will better protect 1,761 homes from flooding and help keep the nationally critical Ministry of Defence firing training ranges operational.
It is part of the shoreline defences for the low-lying Romney Marshes with over 14,500 properties, many hectares of prime agricultural land and roads and infrastructure at risk from coastal flooding.
Construction on the 3.2km of defences is now under way. It will consist of 34 new timber groynes, 320,000 cubic metres of shingle beach recharge, a new rock revetment, improvements to the ‘green wall’ and relocation of an existing outfall at Denge.
Further information can be found on GOV.UK.
Thames Valley flood scheme
This scheme is in its early stages and is looking at approaches to reducing flood risk across the Thames Valley. This includes the whole of the River Thames upstream of London from its source in Gloucestershire, and the rivers that flow into it. It complements existing and planned local flood alleviation schemes.
The scheme aims to provide an increased level of climate resilience across the Thames catchment area. Currently in the consultation phase, the vision is to develop a scheme that will:
- reduce flood risk throughout the Thames Valley
- enhance the environment
- help grow the economy
- support sustainable growth
- improve health and wellbeing for rural and urban communities
For further information and to take part in the public consultation that runs until 20 August 2021, see the consultation page.
River Roding project, Essex
The River Roding flood alleviation scheme will reduce flooding to 600 residential properties, commercial properties and infrastructure in an area around Woodford and Ilford. It will also improve the River Roding for wildlife and for people to enjoy.
The project includes building a flood storage area on the River Roding at Shonks Mill Bridge. This will involve building a long earth embankment and control structure on the river. The river will flow naturally for most of the time but during high flows and increased flood risk, flood water will be stored behind the earth embankment in a temporary reservoir. This will reduce the river flow and risk of flooding downstream. As the flood risk recedes it will drain back naturally into the River Roding.
The project includes refurbishing two stretches of existing flood embankments in Woodford to improve the defences against the impact of projected climate change.
Further information can be found at the Environment Agency’s consultation page.
Eastbourne to Pevensey Bay flood defence scheme
The Eastbourne to Pevensey Bay flood defence scheme will better protect 10,000 homes and businesses from flooding, as well as key infrastructure, including the A27 and railway lines.
Carbon efficiencies will play a key part in the design and construction of the scheme. It will embrace new technology and ways of working with the aim of achieving 50% carbon savings.
The scheme, which has only recently started, is currently going into the design options phase. As the project progresses the Environment Agency and partner, Eastbourne Borough Council, will engage and consult with local residents and stakeholders throughout the key stages of the scheme.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The tragic recent events in Germany and Belgium serve as a sobering reminder of how devastating flooding can be. We are standing by communities and will bolster defences against flooding across England with many thousands more properties better protected by 2027.
“It’s important we take action right across the system. Our comprehensive plan will achieve this by tightening planning procedures, helping more people access insurance and making homes more resilient to the effects of flooding.”
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