'Drop-in' on Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management plans

14 Apr 2022 09:51 AM

The Environment Agency and Eastbourne Borough Council are urging residents and organisations to attend one of a series of drop-ins and webinars.

The scheme will become one of the largest coastal flood risk schemes in the country, using innovative and creative solutions, protecting an estimated 10,000 homes.

Since the Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management Scheme launched late last year, valuable insight is being gathered from local people to help shape the future of the new flagship large scale coastal defence project.

From 25 April to 5 May there will be face to face drop-in sessions at various locations in Eastbourne, Sovereign Harbour and Pevensey Bay. As well as virtual webinars which will be open for all.

People have the chance to listen to the project team discuss some of the possible future solutions for this coastline and ask questions. There will also be guided walks along the project area with a member of the project team. Webinars are being held on 27 April, 3 May and 6 May.

Further details will be available on the project website

Nick Gray, the Environment Agency’s Flood Risk Manager in the area said:

Our work on the scheme so far has enabled us to understand how much the seafront is valued by local people and the concerns they have on rising sea level and the impact that the climate crisis will have at a local level.

As our plans develop, we are keen to keep local people regularly updated with progress and I urge residents to come along to one of our drop-in sessions and meet with us. We want to work with coastal communities to shape the future management of the frontage together.

The drop-in sessions will look at what is possible within the project programme and the options available for the coastal frontage. Whilst there are various opportunities available, nothing has been decided yet in the complex process of designing a new coastal future in this area.

The scheme will become one of the largest coastal flood risk schemes in the country. It uses innovative and creative solutions to maximise economic, environmental, and social opportunities to deliver multiple benefits.

Sea levels are projected to rise by over one metre in the south of England. This alongside increasingly powerful storms means the risk of flooding, damage to property and erosion increases all the time. Ultimately this scheme will help make Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne more resilient to coastal flooding.

When completed, the new sea defences will increase protection to an estimated 10,000 homes, key infrastructure, local businesses, heritage sites and nature conservation areas.                  

Councillor Colin Swansborough, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said:

I am delighted with how residents are already engaging with the project team and hope that this momentum will continue through to the drop-in sessions that are scheduled over the coming weeks.

The headlines around the project understandably reflect the long-term risk of flooding along the seafront and the sea defence work that is required.  However, it is really exciting that the scheme will also be designed to enhance local biodiversity and help the town meet our climate change commitments, such as becoming carbon net zero.

There are face-to-face drop-in events and online sessions planned, so whatever format works best for individuals, there are opportunities to get involved and I encourage as many residents as possible to do exactly that.

The Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management Scheme aligns with the long-term goal of a nation resilient to climate change, green growth and a sustainable future as outlined in the Environment Agency’s 5-year plan. ‘EA2025’ outlines the ways in which the organisation is working towards a greener, healthier future.