Protecting our coast from flooding and coastal erosion

Find out what we are doing to protect our coastline from the elements

How our coast is defended

The coastline between Brighton Marina and the River Adur in Shoreham features one of the country’s most iconic tourist beaches. 

Our coastline is currently defended by:

  • Brighton & Hove’s beaches, which are the primary form of protection from coastal flooding and erosion
  • chalk cliffs, such as the Undercliff Walk
  • sea walls
  • timber groynes

Shingle recycling and renourishment

Wave movement shifts sand and shingle east from Shoreham Port towards Brighton Marina. This is a process known as ‘longshore drift’.

Each year, we move an average of 16,000 tonnes of shingle back from around the Marina to beaches further west and at Shoreham Port.

Challenges facing our coastline

The impact of Climate Change and rising sea levels

Due to a combination of long-term climate change predictions and rises in sea levels, the beaches, together with residential and commercial properties along the coastline, are at risk of flooding and erosion.  

What we are doing about it

Brighton & Hove City Council and Adur & Worthing District Councils have created a strategy to manage this risk in order to ensure that the coastline remains a vibrant and vital focus for the area’s economy. The strategy is known as the Brighton Marina to River Adur Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Scheme and covers the area highlighted in the map below.

Map of Brighton seafront showing the area covered by the Brighton Marina to River Adur Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Scheme.

The aim and benefits of the scheme

The aim of the Brighton Marina to River Adur Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Scheme is to improve our coastal defences and reduce the risk of long term (1 in 200 year) flood and erosion risk.    

The scheme will have significant local benefits including avoidance of the loss or residential and commercial properties, including Shoreham Sewage Pumping Station and Shoreham Power Station. 

How the scheme is being funded

The scheme is being paid for from a series of centrally funded packages set out by the Government, to construct new flood and coastal defences.

You can find out more on this Defra blog

What’s been done so far

The following have been completed:

  • a series of investigations to improve our understanding of the area.
  • a survey of the flood and coastal erosion risk management structures to determine their condition
  • a review of up to date information on waves, water levels and beach surveys to assess how the coastline behaves and to predict how it may evolve.
  • a Strategic Environmental Assessment to collate baseline information on the natural and built environment

The improvements being made

We're still working with our consultants and engineers to confirm the exact technical plans but in essence we will be:

  • repairing and strengthening floods walls and defences where necessary
  • replacing existing flood walls and defences that cannot be repaired or provide insufficient protection
  • installing new timber Groynes along Kings Esplanade

What’s happening next

Works needed to be undertaken as part of the scheme will be phased as follows: 

  • Spring 2022: Site surveys and ground investigations
  • Spring 2022: Technical design planning
  • Autumn 2022: Construction activities phase 1
  • 2024: Construction activities phase 2
  • 2029: Construction activities phase 3

Where can I find out more?  

You can find out more about the  The Brighton Marina to River Adur Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy here.