Plans to protect the Sussex coast amidst bad weather

By Charlotte Gale and James Dunham

Plans are being drawn up to protect the Sussex coastline from erosion following weeks of heavy wind and rain.

Brighton & City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee will now meet with the public to draw up an action plan to protect our coast for the next 100 years.

The committee is proposing that defences will be improved at Shoreham’s lock gate. There are also proposals to raise seawalls and create bigger beaches towards the Western end of Brighton Marina and the River Adur.

They are proposals that can’t come soon enough for residents living along the coast. Earlier in the year, further along the coast at Hastings part of the cliff edge collapsed with the cliff face coming crashing into the sea.

A spokesman for Shoreham’s port authority said:

We are delighted to be working closely with our neighbours to ensure the safety of the whole city and we are grateful to the City Council’s engineering officers for taking the lead with this vital initiative.
Spokesman for Shoreham’s port authority

But the committee is urging Sussex residents to take part in the consultation. Public exhibitions, encouraging residents to share their thoughts and comments will be held in the following venues:

  • Hove Town Hall – 31 January – 7 February
  • Brighton Jubilee Library – 17 February – 23 February
  • King Alfred Leisure Centre – 3 March – 9 March
  • Adur Civic Centre – 31 March – 7 April

Cllr Pete West, chair of Brighton & City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said:

 I would urge residents, particularly those living near the sea, to take part in the consultation and help us to develop a strategy which will ensure our coastline is protected and preserved for future generations.
Cllr Pete West, chair of Brighton & City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee

Once the consultation has taken place, the city’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee will then send the proposals to the Environment agency.

Once the Environment Agency confirm the plans then funding will be issued to help improve the Sussex coastline defences.

And with yet more heavy wind and rain set to lash the Sussex coastline, there is no doubt that something needs to be done to defend our coast.

Possible Solutions: In-depth
After a series of investigations by the council, a long list of options was created. In May 2013 a consultation period provided a short list of possible options. Below is a summary of the preferred options. For the full list of options please visit Brighton and Hove City Council’s website here.

Shoreham Port

Shoreham Port
Improving the lock gate areas is thought to be the most effective way of preventing future flooding. It is thought that through these improvements, flood risks and erosion will be reduced. Improving is also the most cost effective option, as well as being environmentally acceptable.

Open Coast
Raising the height of the sea wall between Southwick’s lock gates and the eastern end of the Sewage Treatments Works, upgrading and replacing existing groynes, repairing the current sea wall and increasing the size of the beach frontage by recycling the shingle from Kemp Town are thought to be the best solution for this area. These preventative methods will reduce flood risk to properties and amenities, as well as being the most economically viable and environmentally satisfactory.

Brighton Marina HIPSTAAAR EDIT M8

Brighton Marina
The company which owns Brighton Marina has a legal obligation to ensure that the marina is kept in good repair, so the maintenance of the marina will be privately funded. The breakwaters will be maintained and the height of the inner wall raised to increase protection.

For more information about sea defences, please email or visit the environment agency website here.

Quotes credit of Brighton and Hove City council.

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