Funds allocated for flood prevention projects

St Andrew's Church in Tangmere is one of several projects to benefit from Operation Watershed funding
St Andrew's Church in Tangmere is one of several projects to benefit from Operation Watershed funding

Projects to protect communities against flooding have been awarded funding in Emsworth, Southbourne, Tangemere, and Shoreham.

In the latest phase of Operation Watershed £500,000 has been made available for groups to bid for by West Sussex County Council.

Further projects still have time to submit applications for funding to protect properties from surface and ground-water flooding.

The latest six schemes to be approved have received a total of £67,000, and include an island defence flood alleviation scheme, protection for a 12th-century church, and money towards drainage investigation works at a school.

Bob Lanzer, cabinet member for infrastructure and highways, said: “All six of these schemes clearly demonstrated to us how they would help alleviate surface water or ground water flooding issues.

“Now the fund is truly up and running this year we are receiving more applications and enquiries.

“If you have an idea for a scheme to help your community, and it has wider support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we can start discussing it.”

Lower Ems River Flood Management Group - £50,000 towards a flood alleviation scheme:

The Lower Ems River Flood Management Group, together with local authorities, has developed an ‘island defence’ flood alleviation scheme to protect these homes.

Operation Watershed is part funding the third phase of this scheme, which will see a rock-filled weir built on the Ems River and an earth bund built on the north east corner of Brook Meadow.

The weir will provide a temporary bypass when river levels peak. The bund will complete the ‘island defence’ barrier ring around the homes.

West Sussex Association of Local Councils – £5,500 towards training parish councils to use Parish Online:

Parish Online is an interactive online tool that uses Ordnance Survey and geographical mapping to show data provided by flood authorities of drainage systems, flood zones and areas of flood risk for the county’s 836,000 residents, 100,000 of whom are considered to be at risk of flooding.

Every parish in West Sussex has a licence to use the software. The aim is for them to fill in missing gaps in the maps, creating a two-way flow of information between communities and flood authorities.

To improve take-up among communities, this funding will be used to provide training for parishes via group sessions, cluster of parishes and one-to-one support.

Tangmere Parish Council - £3,500 towards removing a water main from Marsh Lane bridleway:

Marsh Lane bridleway has suffered over the years with flooding. The community came together in 2015 to clear the Aldingbourne Rife next to the bridleway.

During these works volunteers discovered an old Portsmouth Water Company main, which had been laid in 1912.

The pipe blocked part of a culvert, causing water to back up upstream and groundwater levels to rise. This scheme will pay for Portsmouth Water to re-route the pipe away from the culvert.

Southbourne Parish Council - £2,810.40 towards repairing Hermitage Stream Banks:

Hermitage Stream Banks have been eroding and showing signs of collapse. The impact of this erosion could result in the flooding of nearby properties.

The scheme will strengthen the banks either side of the stream. Chestnut pale stakes will be driven in and gravel and topsoil backfilled to repair the structure.

St Andrew’s Church, Tangmere - £2,800 towards surface water drainage:

This 12th century village church has suffered flooding for years. Volunteers at the church place sandbags at the entrance whenever rain is forecast. This scheme will see drainage gullies and a pipe network installed to take surface water away from the church building.

Shoreham Beach Primary School - £2,733 towards drainage investigation works:

The school play area has suffered with surface water flooding following rainfall, which impacts the children’s play time. This project will pay for a drainage investigation to take place to understand why the artificial grass field does not drain away. A contractor will carry out a CCTV survey of the drainage system and map it out. Soakaway chambers will also be inspected.

The criteria used to assess applications are: It addresses recognised surface or groundwater flooding issues; it has strong community support; it demonstrates value for money; and will realise benefits to your community.

Community groups, volunteer groups, town and parish councils within West Sussex are all eligible to apply.

As before, all applications need support from their local elected county councillor.

In previous years the Operation Watershed Active Communities Fund was oversubscribed.

The earlier a bid is submitted, the more likely it is to be successful.

For more information visit the website at or email