A planned road closure has been scrapped and a popular footpath has partially reopened as Shoreham’s major flood defence scheme takes another step towards completion.
The Environment Agency has confirmed that, as a result of updated modelling for the project, plans have been adapted to remove the need for major road works on the A283.
It was originally planned that the road would have been closed for 12 weeks during construction in Spring 2018 – which would have ‘brought Shoreham to a standstill at peak times and caused gridlock on surrounding roads’, according to a councillor.
However, as a result of the work that has already taken place, only a very small number of properties would have benefitted from this road raising work, the spokesman said.
Instead, these properties will be protected with an alternative solution to ensure they also receive a high level of protection and the road closures will not take place, confirmed the spokesman.
Phil Prydderch, Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls manager at the Environment Agency, said: “It’s great news for Shoreham residents that we will be able to enhance their flood protection without the planned road closures.
“We are committed to protecting all members of the community, and will continue to work with local residents to make them more resilient against flooding.”
With work at reach E3 of the Adur Tidal Walls scheme now complete, the northern section of the Downs Links and Lower Beach Road was reopened on Friday, December 8, a spokesman from the Environment Agency said.
The popular riverbank cycle and footpath had been missed by residents since it was closed last year.
Construction on the stretch included raising walls and embankments, with steel piling installed along the landward side of the path.
Marine ward councillor Joss Loader said: “It’s excellent news that the A283 will not now be closed as it would have brought Shoreham to a standstill at peak times and caused gridlock on surrounding roads.”
“I’m also delighted that Lower Beach Road is now open, after some delays, as I’ve been pressing the EA to hand back areas as soon as possible, rather than leaving them fenced off.”
However despite progress on the scheme, some Shoreham Beach residents have raised concerns.
Ms Loader said: “Although Beach residents appreciate the value of the flood defence scheme, those living alongside the south side of the river have had a tough time with noise, delays, outstanding compensation issues and often patchy communication.
“The EA are aware of these challenges and I am working with them to try to make delivery of this construction project as easy as possible for residents in the front line.”
A spokesman from the Environment Agency said: “We are aware of the impact that the development of these schemes can have on local communities, and we thank the residents of Shoreham for their patience.
“Our project team is working closely with local residents throughout construction of the scheme to mitigate disruption as far as possible.”
Elsewhere in the scheme, work on the slipway at Emerald Quay and Sussex Wharf is advancing and the first panes of glass of the riverside flood defence have been installed.
The majority of the new wall at Ferry Bridge is complete, and vegetation clearance at Riverbank – in preparation for construction to start in the New Year – is finished.
Work at Emerald Quay, Shoreham Harbour Club and Shoreham Fort is progressing well.
Much of the work behind the High Street in Shoreham has been completed and is open to the public.
When completed, the flood defence scheme will significantly reduce flood risk to over 2,300 properties in Shoreham and Lancing.