Views sought on sea level rise and flood risk scenarios
The views of people who live and work in Seaford, Lewes, Newhaven and the surrounding villages are being sought by Coastal Communities 2150 (CC2150) over various conceptual scenarios to adapt to sea level rise and flood risk between now and 2150.
More than 2,000 homes and 1,300 commercial properties are currently at risk of flooding in Seaford and the lower Ouse Valley. Future climate change will make these communities more difficult to protect as a result of increased flooding, erosion and rising sea levels.
Coastal Communities 2150, in which the Environment Agency is a partner, has developed six illustrated concepts for how the lower Ouse Valley could be adapted over the next 150 years to deal with the effects of climate change and sea level rise.
The concepts are:
- Hard line: building hard structures to hold back high tides and flood waters
- Soft focus: using softer, natural features like salt marsh and embankments to defend areas of land against flooding
- Get wet: accepting that some areas will flood sometimes and protecting buildings and infrastructure to reduce the amount of damage
- Higher ground: Moving buildings, infrastructure and other activities from the shoreline and river banks to higher ground
- Rise up: Lifting buildings and infrastructure out of harm’s way from flooding by putting them on stilts or embankments, or making them float
- New growth: changing the way we farm the land to adapt to changing weather conditions
The concepts are complemented by an interactive visualisation of the lower Ouse Valley. This ‘fly-through’, the first of its kind in the UK, takes the user along the valley in either direction allowing them to raise sea level by up to 5m. The coastal and river defence are shown at their current heights.
Paul Costelloe, Environment Agency CC2150 project officer, said: “The coast around south-east England is changing and we all must be prepared for the future effects of rising sea levels, increased flood risk and higher temperatures.
“This is not a formal consultation because the concepts are not schemes or proposals for the area. Instead we are inviting responses from the communities to produce an ambitious but achievable long-term Vision and Action Plan. We are asking people how they think that the communities need to adapt to climate change and what practical role different organisations and individuals should take in achieving that vision.”
The consultation closes on October 22.
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