Work to begin on Canvey Island flood defences

Mick Ferris
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The Environment Agency is set to begin a £75million project to keep homes and businesses in Canvey Island protected from flooding.

Much of Canvey Island lies below the daily high-water level in the Thames Estuary. The tidal defences play a critical role in reducing the risk of flooding to people, property and infrastructure on the island.

A 3km stretch of the island’s existing tidal flood defence revetment will be renewed on its southern shoreline between Thorney Bay and the Island Yacht Club. Sections of the current revetment over the project area date back to the 1930s and need replacing.

Once completed the island’s tidal defences will continue to provide protection for 6,097 properties on the island for another 50 years. The works will also take into account the effects of rising sea levels due to climate change.

As well as refurbishing the existing tidal defences, additional enhancements will be made to the Canvey Island shoreline. These will include improved public access along the seaward walkway.

New steps to the beach and foreshore as well as project information boards will be installed. The surface of the pathway along the landward side of the seawall between Thorney Bay and Chapman Sands will also be improved.

Flowering grass seed mixes will be planted to improve biodiversity on the defence and rock pools will be created to boost habitat in select locations along the foreshore.

The works are part of the Thames Estuary Asset Management (TEAM) 2100 Programme. This is a 10-year capital investment programme to refurbish and improve existing tidal flood defences. As the single largest flood risk management programme in the UK, the TEAM 2100 Programme is refurbishing, repairing and replacing defences in the Thames Estuary where required.

James Mason, Operations Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “This project is essential to managing the risk of flooding for thousands of people, homes and businesses on Canvey Island.

“The existing revetment along the southern shoreline is starting to reach the end of its useful life and this investment in Canvey Island’s tidal defences will ensure they continue to benefit the community on Canvey Island to 2070.

“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in the UK. Which is why schemes such as this are needed.

“Everyone should know their flood risk and sign up for free flood warnings by going to https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk or calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. You can also follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”

Contractors working on behalf of the Environment Agency will begin setting up site from January with work beginning on the tidal defences from late March. The project is expected to take until summer 2025 to complete.

Ahead of the works starting in the new year, a public drop-in session will be held on December 14 at Jimmy Mac’s restaurant from 11am – 2pm. This session will provide an opportunity for the public and business owners to meet and talk with the project team.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk