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3,000 tonnes of steel set to sail into Littlehampton for tidal defence project

"Considerable environmental and cost benefits of transport by sea direct to Littlehampton

Subject to favourable weather conditions, the final shipment of the 3,000 tonnes of sheet piling that will be used in a major £12 million tidal defence scheme for Littlehampton will be delivered by boat to the town on Tuesday 19 March.

Ships will be used to bring in the steel by sea through Littlehampton Harbour in West Sussex. Due to the huge volume of steel this will be the final delivery of the three shipments that have taken place over the course of the last few weeks.

The Environment Agency, in partnership with Arun District Council, began developing the ambitious scheme in 2009 to improve the tidal river flood defences along the east bank of the River Arun in Littlehampton. As a key part of the Littlehampton East Bank flood management scheme, the steel will be used to replace the steel pile wall along Arun Parade and Pier Road.

The existing steel pile defences which protect Littlehampton from tidal flooding from the River Arun are now in need of being replaced in order to provide a greater standard of protection to the town. The Environment Agency has been successful in securing funding from Government to replace these ageing flood defences between the mouth of the harbour and the A259 on the east bank.

Andrew Gilham, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said:
“This is a major step forward in further reducing the risk of tidal flooding to Littlehampton. Delivering the steel by boat has so many benefits, not only for the environment, but also in reducing the amount of traffic on local roads whilst these essential deliveries take place.

“ When complete this scheme will see a new flood defence wall along the riverside that will reduce tidal flood risk to more than 1,900 residential and over 500 commercial properties over the next 100 years.

“The project will help regenerate the area around Pier Road and Arun Parade in the town as a result of the additional funding being provided by Arun District Council to introduce significant enhancements to the scheme.”
Councillor Paul Dendle, Arun Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said:
“I’m sure the sight of this steel arriving through Littlehampton Harbour will be an incredible sight to see and one that will ease the concerns of those living and working in the highest flood risk area of the town.

“I’m delighted the steel sheeting is being delivered by boat through the Harbour as the roads are busy already without adding to the congestion by having hundreds of extra deliveries by vehicle. I look forward to later this year when the physical works and enhancements get underway. I agree this marks a significant step forward for this exciting project that will bring benefits over and above the essential flood defence aspect.”
A spokesman for Littlehampton Harbour said,
“Littlehampton Harbour is very pleased to be so closely involved in the scheme to improve flood defences in the town. Improved access to the water along the Pier Road stretch of the river can only serve to improve the town’s links with the river. The three calls by the 1156 tonne German built vessel, WALTER HAMMANN, have not only demonstrated the considerable environmental and cost benefits of transport by sea direct to Littlehampton, but have also highlighted the capabilities of the harbour and shown that the port is well and truly open for business.”
Progress reports and updates about these works can be found on a new notice board that has been put up at the northern end of Arun Parade. Local residents and businesses will be kept informed throughout the duration of the project with regular updates on the Environment Agency’s web site at: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/littlehamptoneastbank and with newsletters delivered to those properties directly affected by the works.

Further information about the scheme can be found via the Project Team on 08708 506 506 or by email to littlehamptoneastbank@environment-agency.gov.uk

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