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February 9th, 2017.

LDC release:

The Environment Agency has started construction work on a major flood-defence scheme that will reduce flood risk to over 800 homes and businesses and vital infrastructure in Newhaven.

Construction work on the Newhaven Flood Alleviation Scheme started on 3 January 2017 after two years of development including consultation with the local community. After a competitive tendering process, the Environment Agency has employed the services of contractors JacksonHyder to carry out design and construction of this scheme.

The Newhaven Flood Alleviation Scheme has been developed in partnership with Lewes District Council, East Sussex County Council, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and South East LEP to reduce the flood risk to approximately 431 homes and 387 commercial properties by significantly improving the standard of existing tidal defences in the East Sussex town.

Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “This £18 million flood-defence scheme is a great example of our commitment to better protect the Sussex coast from the kind of devastating flooding experienced in 2013.

“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.”

Gordon Wilson, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said: “I am delighted that construction has started and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Newhaven community for their invaluable feedback and support throughout the design, consultation and planning processes. In order to improve the current ageing flood defences, unavoidably there may be some disruption while essential construction work takes place. We always aim to keep any disruption to a minimum, and we thank the community in advance for their ongoing support. When the whole project is complete in 2019, the scheme will reduce the tidal flood risk to hundreds of homes and a significant number of commercial properties in the area, as well as protecting important local infrastructures such as the road network, railway tracks and the train station. This scheme will also support the wider regeneration of Newhaven, helping to bring new investment, jobs and homes to the area”.

Councillor Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: "I am very pleased that work is underway on this hugely beneficial project for the future of Newhaven and its residents. Most importantly, it will give a high level of protection to homes and businesses as well as the transport network, greatly reducing the risk of a repeat of the 2013 floods which caused widespread damage and upset. In addition, the scheme also supports the wider regeneration of Newhaven and will help to bring new investment, jobs and homes here.

Councillor Rupert Simmons, lead cabinet member for economy at East Sussex County Council said: "We're delighted that the Environment Agency has started work to improve flood protection for Newhaven. When the scheme is completed it will significantly reduce the risk of flooding, benefitting residents and providing a real boost for businesses in the town".

Councillor Steve Saunders, Town Mayor of Newhaven, said: “I welcome the start of work on these flood defence works by the Environment Agency. This is good news for Newhaven because they will provide much needed protection to local homes, businesses and infrastructure as well as enabling regeneration to take place in the town.”

The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and South East Local Enterprise Partnership are each contributing £1.5 million, as part of their wider commitment to regeneration in Newhaven. This funding has allowed the scheme to start construction in January 2017.

Tony Middleton, chief operating officer at Coast to Capital LEP, said: "It's exciting to see the flood defence project starting to come to life. The LEP has funded this scheme because the construction of the defences will act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of Newhaven and continue to protect the vital local infrastructure surrounding the area, drawing in new investment, jobs and homes for the area".

Chris Brodie, Chairman, South East Local Enterprise Partnership, said:” South East LEP welcomes this important milestone and is pleased to be able to support this vital project which is important, not only, in protecting the existing business community of Newhaven and local infrastructure, but significantly improves future opportunity for investment in new jobs and homes”.

Further information on the scheme is available via the Environment Agency pages on the GOV.UK website or by calling 03708 506506.

You can also request information by email at or by writing to SSD Enquiries, Environment Agency, Guildbourne House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1LD.

For more general information on how to prepare for flooding and the latest flood warnings in force visit: or ring Floodline on 0345 9881188.