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West Wittering Flood Action Group Announcement

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

FLOODS IN WEST WITTERING

Protect your village and home from the sea, sewage, and increased insurance premiums!

The Environment Agency is proposing to strengthen and raise the existing bank alongside Snow Hill Creek, where the footpath runs to East Head. The scheme should provide protection for the village from the sea for the next 50 years, and provide the basis for defences that will last for 100 years.

Exhibition

There will be an opportunity to see the project’s progress and meet representatives from Environment Agency and the contractor at an exhibition in the Sports Pavilion, Rookwood Road, West Wittering PO20 8LT on:

Friday 12th August 2011 between 3pm and 8pm and on

Saturday 13th August 2011 between 10am and 2pm.

Your input is sought on the detailed design and finish options.

Links

Environment Agency Frequently Asked Questions

Environment Agency July 2011 circular

Environment Agency website

Latest fund status.

Minutes of donor meeting on 2nd April 2011

Flood Action Group – 2nd Circular

The Problem

Without improvement the life of the existing sea wall is estimated at around 10 years, and this wall holds back the high spring tides that occur twice a month for several days. Failure of the wall will allow the sea into the centre of the village. At present there are some 55 houses at risk from flooding, with this number increasing to 170 in the next 100 years. In addition to the houses and streets, both the Village School and the sewage pumping station are at risk. In the longer term flooding could reach the Church and properties up to the Memorial Hall, Pound Rd, Coastguard Lane, and parts of Cakeham Rd and Seaward Drive. The centre of the village would be devastated! In addition a breach of the sea wall would lead to us losing the much enjoyed footpath from Snow Hill to the beach, and the crab pool.

The Consequences

1) Flooding of the pumping station would affect everyone, bringing sewage into our streets and homes.

2) A national agreement by the insurance companies to insure homes in flood risk areas runs out in 2013. Insurers are saying that they may refuse cover if the government does not fund flood defences. The average cost nationally of a flood claim is £70,000. Insurers calculate risk by postcode, and therefore insurance claims in the village are likely to mean increased premiums for us all. Any flooding in the village will depress property values throughout West Wittering as none of us live more than a few metres above sea level.

3) If we do nothing and leave it to others, we shall have to live with the uncertainty and anxiety of waiting for the inevitable to happen. Once the sea wall goes, the extent of the consequential damage caused by further regular breaches will be real rather than imagined.

The Solution

A few months ago we were told that our scheme would probably get central funding. Now we know there is strong competition from other schemes, and without a change in our cost/benefit score we will not get the funding we need. However, schemes that are part funded by the community they benefit stand an improved chance of getting the necessary contribution from the government.

The total cost of the scheme is £1.4million. Local organisations will also make substantial donations on behalf of the community, provided that we as householders demonstrate our commitment to the village and its future by raising at least £100,000 or more if we can.

We have a deadline of late November if we are to get the works approved for next year, since if we miss this date, we will be competing in 2011 with larger projects that are now in the pipeline, and it will be more difficult to get any central funding.

The Actions Needed

WE ALL NEED TO CONTRIBUTE NOW – it has to be in the interest of us all to prevent flooding and we can. Consider the consequences of doing nothing and mobilise your neighbours, friends and local groups to act now. Above all, act personally and commit your cash in support now. Time is short and speed is essential. Those householders most vulnerable to flooding will be approached to make substantial donations, but we all should give to protect what we value in our village. All cash received will be held in a separate account by a local solicitor.


If you need further information, the Residents Association is holding a public meeting in the Memorial Hall at 10 a.m. on Saturday November 6th; – if you have questions do attend.


Your cheque should be made payable to West Wittering Flood Action Group,

And sent with the Address slip below to the treasurer -

Anna Miller, Paul Hills and Co, Solicitors,
1, Kingfisher Parade,
East Wittering,
PO20 8BJ

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This circular is published on 20 Oct 2010, by the West Wittering Flood Action Group, which is made up of concerned residents of the Village, including Parish Councillors, and the Residents Association. (Contact numbers –Richard Goldsmith 514765, Jim Lines 514461, Dermot Wright 512818, David Suttle 513840, Michael Jarman 514427, Peter Morton 514143, Roger Bird 513311, Stella Hadley 07879 667585)