Chance to quiz Agency on coastal defence plan

DEFENDING the coastline of Eastbourne and beyond will be up for discussion at the Pevensey Bay Sea Defences Annual Public Forum next week.

It is being held on Thursday, April 28, from 2pm-6pm, at St Wilfrid’s Hall, Pevensey Bay, and has been organised by the Environment Agency.

A spokesperson from the agency said, “The defences along the coast at Pevensey and parts of Eastbourne require constant maintenance to ensure they provide the high level of defence required.

“Covering the 9km of coast from Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, to Bexhill, the defences protect an area of 50 square kilometres and approximately 17,000 properties as well as the Pevensey Levels, a European site of environmental importance.

“Residents are encouraged to come along, view the displays being mounted and discuss coastal and flooding issues with those involved in the work.”

Andrew Gilham, Environment Agency area flood and coastal risk manager, said, “This is an opportunity to get first-hand information about the defences, the risk of flooding from the sea and to view flood maps of the area.

“We really want members of the local community to talk to us about flood issues affecting the area as this helps us understand their needs and consider how we can improve our ways of working.”

Pevensey is the site of a unique public private partnership project as the Environment Agency signed a £30 million Public Private Partnership contract with Pevensey Coastal Defence Limited in 2000 for the Pevensey Bay Sea Defences.

The contract is for 25 years and PCDL is contracted to carry out improvement works and maintain the sea defences in return for a monthly fee.

The event should keep residents informed of work being done as part of the sea defence scheme, to provide information on the coastline and how it is changing through natural processes, raise awareness of flood risk in the area, and provide access to ecological and environmental information.