‘Excellent’ new defences in Littlehampton to reduce risk of flooding

Members of the Rope Walk Flood Action Group at the new defences
Members of the Rope Walk Flood Action Group at the new defences

Residents have waved goodbye to years of flooding fears thanks to new defences provided by the Environment Agency.

The demountable aluminium flood barriers, which can be assembled quickly and easily, have been provided at the Hillyard shipyard in Rope Walk, Littlehampton, after extensive discussions between the Rope Walk Flood Action Group and the Environment Agency.

For years the River Arun has regularly breached and overtopped the old defences, a spokesman from the flood group said.

This has caused considerable stress to residents and business owners along Rope Walk and has also prevented them from obtaining reasonably priced insurance, added the spokesman.

Simon Gibson, chairman of the Rope Walk Flood Action Group, said the new defences were ‘excellent’, adding: “This is a great start in reducing the threat of flooding and damage done.

“These boards have been engineered to a very high standard.

“We look forward to continuing partnership working with the Environment Agency and the local community to continue to deliver more targeted, effective flood defences like these.”

He thanked local businesses for their support, in particular Robert Boyce of Osborne of Arun, and river ward councillor Ian Buckland.

Mr Buckland said: “This is an excellent additional piece of protection that was required as a result of climate change and failing, out-of-date defences.

“The Environment Agency has done a fantastic job, and I would particularly like to thank Andrew Walker, Dean Crispin and others from the Environment Agency for their help and support in delivering this protection for my constituents here in Rope Walk.”

The Environment Agency confirmed it had provided 15 metres of demountable flood barriers which will the reduce the risk of flooding to around 100 properties.

A spokesman said: “The current privately owned defences are currently in a poor condition, so our temporary flood barriers will remain in place whilst we discuss plans for a permanent solution with residents and interested groups.”