The Environment Agency has announced that work to improve the tidal flood defences along the East Bank of the River Arun is set to start in Pier Road, Littlehampton this month.
The £14.5 million partnership scheme includes the construction of a new tidal river wall to protect over 2,000 residential properties and businesses against 100 years of predicted sea level rise. It will also vastly improve the walkway along the riverside, creating an attractive pedestrian route between the town and the beach.
Work to the flood wall will be complemented by design work which will raise the promenade, enhancing the views across the river. Careful planning has also gone into ensuring that the new promenade has wide visual appeal through the use of improved lighting, tree planting and attractive seating areas. The materials have been carefully chosen to preserve the coastal identity of Littlehampton whilst being robust enough to endure the exposed conditions.
The scheme, which includes flood defences from the lighthouse on the Promenade to north of the A259, is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The project is a partnership between the Environment Agency, Arun District Council, West Sussex County Council, Littlehampton Harbour Board and Littlehampton Town Council, all of whom have worked together to ensure the plans will deliver maximum benefit in terms of both flood defence and environmental improvements.
Whilst Pier Road and Arun Parade will be closed to vehicular traffic for the duration of the works and re-opening in May 2014 and July 2014 respectively, pedestrian access to both will be maintained throughout the construction of the scheme. Businesses will remain open as usual throughout the works and visitors will be able to access the shops and kiosks on Pier Road and Arun Parade as normal. Free parking only for customers of Pier Road shops, restaurants and Harbour Park will be made available by Arun District Council in the sign-posted part of the West Green Car Park from Monday 21 October 2013.
David Robinson, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Operations Manager, said: “This is a major landmark in this important flood defence scheme. We are very keen to work with residents and businesses throughout this project and I would like to thank them in advance for their patience and understanding whilst these construction works take place.”
Philippa Dart, Assistant Director of Environmental Services, speaking on behalf of Arun District Council, said: “It will be very exciting to watch this project unfold. We are all looking forward to seeing the end result which we believe will be a significant improvement to the promenade area between the seafront and the Town centre.
“As well as protecting the many properties which would previously have been at risk of tidal river flooding, we hope that these improvements will attract more visitors and tourists to the area and provide a more enjoyable experience for local residents. It brings to fruition Arun’s long held aspiration of having a high quality, uninterrupted pedestrian link between the Town centre and the sea front.”
An information office and notice boards will be set up on site for businesses and visitors to the area to find out more about the scheme and to be kept informed of its progress. Further information will also be available at our website www.environment-agency.gov.uk/littlehamptoneastbank or by contacting the project team on 08708 506 506 or by email at email@example.com
Over five million people in England and Wales are at risk from flooding from rivers and the sea. Those in flood risk areas should sign up to the Environment Agency’s free flood warning system – the most immediate and localised source of information on flooding – by calling 0845 9881188 or visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood