Kent

Environment Agency £6m flood defences protect Margate

Harbour Arm
Image caption The potential cost of flooding to the town has been estimated at £65m with 476 properties at risk

A £6m flood defence scheme to protect buildings on Margate seafront is due to get under way next month.

Thanet Council said the work would tackle a serious problem for the Kent town, where the potential cost of flooding is estimated at about £65m.

More than 470 properties in the Old Town area are potentially at risk from coastal flooding, the council said.

The Environment Agency-funded scheme will reduce the flood risk from a one-in-20-year to a one-in-200-year event.

'New sea wall'

The first phase of the scheme, which focused on the defences near the new Turner Contemporary gallery, was completed in March.

Councillor Simon Moores said: "As Margate is a flood risk area the improved coastal defences will reduce the likelihood of tidal flooding in Margate for the next 50 years.

"The sheer scale of what we're doing here however will mean that some level of disruption will occur."

He said businesses and residents would be kept fully aware of the work to minimise disruption.

Next month the Harbour Arm will be strengthened and a new sea wall installed on Marine Drive and the Parade.

A new defence structure will be built around the Kings Steps area, consisting of a series of wide steps from the beach to the promenade to reduce the impact of waves during storms.

The Harbour Arm will be closed from late October until March 2012.

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