23 January 2014

Protecting our coastline for the next 100 years

Residents will play a key role in shaping the city’s coastal defences for the next 100 years.

Members of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee have given the go ahead for a second round of consultation on a new coastal protection plan.

The first round of consultation took place last summer.

Climate change, rising sea levels and stormy weather all affect our coastline and add to the risk of flooding and erosion.

In order to best prepare for the future Brighton & Hove City Council has joined forces with Adur & Worthing Councils, Shoreham Port Authority and the Brighton Marina Company to produce a plan for the next 100 years.

The Brighton Marina to River Adur Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Strategy covers the areas from the lock gates at Shoreham to, and including, Brighton Marina.

The strategy divides the stretch of coastline into three areas and offers a shortlist of options for each.

The list has been produced after officers explored a wide range of options, considering each one in terms of:

• Flood and erosions risk to people and property

• Climate change and predicted sea level rise

• Costs

• Impact on the natural environment.

For each area, one option is highlighted as the preferred course of action over the 100 year life of the strategy:

For Shoreham Port, the proposed option is to improve the defences in the lock gate area.

For the open coast between Brighton Marina and the River Adur the strategy proposes raising seawalls at the western end and enlarging some groynes to create bigger beaches, to ensure the city is adequately protected from sea level rise and the worst effects of storms at sea. The regular movement of beach material from Shoreham Beach and from next to Brighton Marina onto the Port’s beaches and normal maintenance work on the groynes and seawalls would continue.

For Brighton Marina, the report proposes increasing the height of the inner harbour wall.

Consultation will start on January 24th and run for 3 months until 24th April. There will be touring, unmanned exhibitions through the 3 month period.

Venues for the exhibition are:

Hove Town Hall - 31st Jan to 7th Feb

Brighton Library - 17th Feb to 23rd Feb

King Alfred - 3rd February to 9th March

Adur Civic Centre - 31st March to 7th April

Cllr Pete West, chair of Brighton & City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee said: "The recent heavy rainfall, storms and widespread flooding have highlighted the need for us to look at how we can best protect our coastline.

"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."

Once finalised, the strategy will be reported back to the Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee for approval and then submitted to the Environment Agency for agreement. Once agreed applications can then be made to the Environment Agency for grant aid to fund the strategy’s recommendations.

A spokesperson for Shoreham 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."