Views sought on Emsworth and East Head flood protection

The Environment Agency (EA) wants to hear residents’ views on major new plans to protect hundreds of homes between Emsworth and East Head in West Wittering from flooding.

The aim is to strengthen the coastline where needed at Thorney Island, Southbourne, Nutbourne, Chidham, Bosham, Fishbourne, Birdham and West Itchenor.

The EA is now looking in more detail at this generally low-lying area which includes substantial areas of farmland on reclaimed intertidal marshes.

Chairman of Emsworth Flood Action Group Chris Clode said: “Any money that can be provided is very welcome. Indeed it is bound to benefit those people in the properties affected, particularly around the East Head area.”

Andrew Gilham, area flood and coastal risk manager for the EA, said: “With our climate changing and sea levels rising, the risks and the number of people affected is likely to increase.

“We have to take a long term view of flood and erosion management for all our coastline, including this stretch.

“We cannot prevent all flooding and erosion but local knowledge and input from communities, as well as other organisations, is important in helping us investigate the best way to manage these risks.”

The Emsworth to East Head Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy forms the eastern frontage of Chichester Harbour from Emsworth Yacht Harbour to Ella Nore Lane, West Wittering.

During the summer, the EA will contact local parish councils and landowners to discuss the flood and erosion risks in the area.

Feedback received will be used to help identify what potential flood and coastal risk management options should be considered.

When the potential management options have been identified, public exhibitions will be held to present the draft options to the community and to invite further comments for consideration in defining draft strategy recommendations.

Works on flood defences in West Wittering were given the go ahead by the EA in May this year as part of the Pagham to East Head coastal defence strategy.

Communities are encouraged to find out more about the strategy by visiting www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/129683.aspx and further information about the North Solent SMP can be found at www.northsolentsmp.co.uk.

To submit comments and to be kept informed of progress with the strategy, please email the project team at ems2eh@environment-agency.gov.uk or contact 0370 8506506.

For more general information on how to prepare for flooding and the latest flood warnings in force visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk or ring Floodline on 08459 881188.

A flood fair is taking place on July 25 at the Mountford Rooms at the Emsworth Community Association building behind the Emsworth Museum in North Street. The free exhibition takes place between 3pm and 7pm.