Flood-hit Littlehampton gets £12m tidal defence wall

Site investigations along the River Arun will begin next month in preparation for a £12m flood defence to protect Littlehampton in West Sussex.

The Environment Agency said the "ambitious" scheme would protect more than 1,900 residential and 500 commercial properties in the town.

Development of the scheme began in 2009 after existing defences were found to need improvement, it said.

Towns across West Sussex were hit by flooding this summer after heavy rain.

In Littlehampton, homes were evacuated and the town saw floodwater that was 4ft (1.2m) deep.

Tidal flood defence

Work to build Littlehampton's new flood defences will include ground condition surveys, detailed design of flood defence walls, and procurement of millions of pounds worth of construction materials, the Environment Agency said.

The project will see a tidal flood defence wall built along the riverside and regeneration of the area around Pier Road and Arun Parade.

The site investigations to be carried out in September, after the school holidays, will determine the soil conditions below that area and are due to be completed by the end of October.

Construction on the Littlehampton Arun East Bank Scheme, developed by the Environment agency, Arun and West Sussex councils and Littlehampton Harbour Board, is expected to start late next year.

Andrew Gilham, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said: "We cannot prevent all flooding and erosion but we believe what we are proposing is the best way to manage the tidal risk to Littlehampton in the future."

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