Huge rock delivery will protect Medmerry coastline

The rocks have been delivered at Medmerry beach
The rocks have been delivered at Medmerry beach

The final shipment of 23,000 tonnes of rock which will be used to protect around 300 Medmerry homes from being flooded in the future has now been delivered.

The rock, which forms a key part of the flood management scheme on the coast, arrived by a giant barge from Norway. The rock was transferred to a smaller barge and brought to the shore.

The rock will be used to protect the vulnerable locations on the east and west of the frontage where the new defences will meet the existing shingle beach.

Graham Porrett, committee member of the Almodington Association which has backed the works, said: “I believe it is a good thing. I know the people there have embraced the whole scheme which is supposed to improve the tourism to the area, with footways and bridleways.

“This scheme can only enhance the tourism experience.”

Environment Agency (EA) flood and coastal risk manager Andrew Gilham said: “The final delivery of rock marks an important milestone in this project.

“Input from the community has been invaluable in shaping the way in which the project will be delivered as well as their enthusiasm on the added environmental benefits it will bring to the area.

“We will continue to work closely with community groups, local authorities and our partner environmental organisations, such as the RSPB, throughout construction of this ambitious project.”

In order to carry out the construction work, access to sections of the beach at either end of the scheme is restricted.

The closure of these sections of beach will be minimised while this essential work is carried out, especially as there are no alternative routes across this beach.

When the project is finally complete in spring 2013, the Medmerry frontage between Selsey and Bracklesham will have more than 7km of new sea defences, situated further inland than the existing shingle bank.

The scheme will also create important new wildlife rich wetlands to offset the anticipated loss of protected intertidal habitats in the Solent over the coming 100 years.

It will also open up carefully devised new public access for local communities and visitors to enjoy. The scheme will include new public footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways, two small car parks and four viewpoints.

When the project is completed around 300 households, in addition to the water treatment works and the only road in and out of Selsey, will have improved flood protection.