£4.7million Arundel flood defence project gets a start date

The flood defence scheme in Arundel is due to start in the autumn
The flood defence scheme in Arundel is due to start in the autumn

A flood defence project which will repair a collapsed river wall in Arundel has been given a start date.

The Environment Agency confirmed that construction of the Arundel Tidal Defences Scheme is expected to begin in autumn 2019.

The £4.7million scheme will protect around 130 properties from flooding and as many as 30 homes from river erosion, as well as fixing the broken section of wall in River Road. The project should be completed in 2020.

Gordon Wilson from the Environment Agency said: “It has taken a lot of work by our project team, our partners and the community but I am delighted that we are now in a position to start construction on this important scheme later this year.

“I would like to thank all those who have helped to enable the scheme to proceed, particularly with the significant funding and engineering challenges that we have overcome.”

The project contract went to Team Van Oord from Henfield, West Sussex, which worked on flood defences in Littlehampton and Shoreham.

The project was sparked when the privately-owned wall in River Road, Arundel, collapsed on Friday, January 8, 2016, flooding properties.

Johnny Boylan and Belinda Pickering, whose home was worst affected, started a campaign to get it fixed.

Former chairman of the River Road Action Group Kim Parkes said: “We are all delighted with the news that work will be starting.

“It has been a long haul to reach this point. My understanding is the collapsed section of river wall in River Road will take three to five months to repair”.

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert got involved and persuaded the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, to fast-forward the project.

When the Environment Agency announced the scheme in October, he said: “This has been a long battle but I am delighted to have helped secure this outcome on behalf of local residents.”

The scheme will be funded by a Government grant and local contributions of £750,000, including from councils. River Road residents will contribute nearly £300,000 of this through insurance payouts and personal contributions.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said the feedback from two public consultations held in May had been ‘very positive’.