Work has begun on an £18M flood defence scheme in Newhaven, East Sussex, an area which was devastated by flooding four years ago.
The Newhaven flood alleviation scheme will protect more than 800 homes and businesses from flooding from the sea or the River Ouse.
Taking climate change into account it will still provide a one in 200 year standard of protection – leaving Newhaven with a 0.5% chance of flooding in any given year.
The scheme follows damaging flooding in 2013 due to a powerful storm which drew the highest tide for 60 years in certain areas, and closed the railway line between Lewes and Seaford.
“All along this coastline, communities are thriving and growing. But we understand the region’s full potential cannot be realised without tackling flood risk. That’s exactly what we’re working with our partners to achieve in Newhaven and throughout the country,” said floods minister Thérèse Coffey.
The scheme – designed and constructed by contractor JacksonHyder – uses a mixture of earth embankments, concrete walls and flood gates to protect the town.
It includes a temporary flood gate over an existing railway line, and a demountable flood barrier which can be quickly deployed across the highway during a significant flood.
The government has recently attracted criticism over its response to MPs’ flood prevention recommendations.