When complete, the scheme will provide improved protection from the risk of flooding for 1,831 properties, 825 of which are residential.
At present some of these properties, including those in Camber village, could flood rapidly up to first floor level, presenting serious risk to life. The main coastal road in the area could also quickly become impassable making emergency access impossible, and the sewage treatment works behind the sea defences would also flood.
The Environment Agency’s Folkestone to Cliff End Flood and Erosion Management Strategy (FoCES) concluded that, of the available options for management of this stretch of coastline, the preferred solution should comprise ‘holding the line’. FoCES recommends improving the standard of sea defence with a wave wall and rock revetment to reduce the risk of flooding from around 20% to 0.5% probability in any one year – equivalent to improving the risk from one in five years to one in 200 years, including allowances for climate change and changes in predicted tide levels.
The scheme comprises the following key elements:
• Improving a 700m length of shingle beach by recharging the existing beach.
• Removing the existing timber groynes and constructing eight new 54m groynes to stabilise the beach and retain the beach material.
• Constructing a 1,700m length of rock revetment and wave wall along the remainder of the frontage.
• Widening and improving the existing access way along the top of the sea defences.
• Providing a number of pedestrian access steps and ramps, and two maintenance ramps to the foreshore to allow future maintenance of the sea defences.
• Fabricating and installing a number of artistic works (the ‘Artist’s Intervention Works’) utilising timber reclaimed from removed groynes.
Maurits den Broeder, chairman of Team Van Oord, said: “We are naturally delighted that the Environment Agency has entrusted this vital coastal defence scheme to Team Van Oord.
“Residents and business owners in this part of East Sussex have lived with the fear and consequences of flooding for long enough.
“We look forward to reducing that risk to a level where it should not a constant concern for local people.”
The works will commence immediately and are scheduled for completion in December 2015.
8 August 2014