Solutions sought for flooding ‘weak point’

Major flooding on the A259 near Sussex Yacht Club, affecting properties in New Road, in December 2013 PICTURE: EDDIE MITCHELL
Major flooding on the A259 near Sussex Yacht Club, affecting properties in New Road, in December 2013 PICTURE: EDDIE MITCHELL

YACHT club members are to work closely with the council to find a flood defence solution for Shoreham.

Adur District Council has secured £3.5million from Growth Deal funding towards finding a comprehensive flood defence solution for the Western Harbour Arm.

This forms part of the Shoreham Harbour Regeneration, and planning committee members, meeting on Monday, were asked for their views on the amended Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the Shoreham Harbour Flood Risk Management Guide.

James Appleton, head of growth, said: “It is quite a weighty document but really provides a lot of detailed guidance to developers and landowners to bring forward developments in the Western Harbour Arm, including the precise design and how best to provide public access along the river frontage.”

Among responses from consultations were some ‘very detailed comments’ in support from Sussex Yacht Club, in Brighton Road.

Mr Appleton explained: “The yacht club is one of the weak points along that section and every time there is a high tide, there is overtopping and we get flooding of the yacht club car park, and then it goes down the access road and floods the A259, properties on the other side of the road and businesses in the area.

“It is quite clear that there was support from the yacht club to look at the use of the Growth Deal funding to help with the start of the solution at the yacht club and then at Kingston Beach, the sort of bookends to the comprehensive solution.

“If we are going to have usable slipways for the yacht club, we are going to have to look at floodgates. There are issues around how we design that. The yacht club has some concerns about security so we need to work closely, hand in hand with the yacht club members about the scheme for this part of the flood defence solution.”

Chairman Brian Boggis pointed out the committee had seen the document in various forms previously, before asking councillors for comments.

Geoff Patmore said: “It is an important document because if there is failure by these landowners to uphold their riparian responsibilities, it creates merry hell down river and up river.

“It does mean there is recognition that there is strong enforcement, otherwise they will do diddly squat.”

Ben Stride said the SPD offered opportunity for a ‘connection across river’.

He said: “I would love to see the east end of Shoreham Beach connected to the mainland by a pedestrian link and if you had a potential future link going through to the railway that would be absolutely fantastic.”

Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association would fully support a pedestrian link at that end, somewhere near Silver Sands, he added.

The SPD will need formal approval by the joint strategic committee. Mr Appleton said the council would also need to republicise a statement that incorporated all the comments received in preparing the document, and that would require a reconsultation.

The yacht club area falls outside the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls Scheme, an ambitious £25 million project to reduce flood risk to more than 2,300 homes and 169 commercial properties by significantly improving the standard of existing tidal defences in Shoreham.