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Flood protection in UK's South East received record government investment

  • Flood protection in UK's South East received record government investment
  • Homes and businesses in the South East will be better protected from flooding and coastal erosion under plans published today by the Government and Environment Agency

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GOV.UK is the website for the UK government. It's the best place to find government services and information.


£176.5 million is to be invested in more than 200 schemes in 2021/22.

The investment is part of plans outlining £5.2 billion of investment over the next 6 years. More than £860 million will be spent in 2021-22, boosting design and construction of more than 1,000 new schemes across England as part of the Environment Agency’s annual capital programme.

It is all part of the government’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Investment Plan which outlines how new flood and coastal schemes will better protect 336,000 properties by 2027, helping to avoid £32 billion in wider economic damages and reducing national flood risk by 11%.

Examples of flood defence schemes include:

Lydd Ranges sea defence scheme, Romney Marsh

The Lydd Ranges sea defence scheme will better protect 1,761 homes from flooding and help keep the nationally critical Ministry of Defence (MoD) firing training ranges operational.

It is part of the shoreline defences for the low lying Romney Marshes with over 14,500 properties, many hectares of prime agricultural land and roads and infrastructure at risk from coastal flooding.

Construction on the 3.2 kilometres of defences is now underway. It will consist of 34 new timber groynes, 320,000 cubic metres of shingle beach recharge, a new rock revetment, improvements to the ‘Green wall’ and relocation of an existing outfall at Denge.

For further information can be found on GOV.UK.

Thames Valley flood scheme

This scheme is in its early stages and is looking at approaches to reducing flood risk across the Thames Valley. This includes the whole of the River Thames upstream of London from its source in Gloucestershire, and the rivers that flow into it. It complements existing and planned local flood alleviation schemes.

The scheme aims to provide an increased level of climate resilience across the Thames catchment area. Currently in the consultation phase, the vision is to develop a scheme that will:

  • reduce flood risk throughout the Thames Valley
  • enhance the environment
  • help grow the economy
  • support sustainable growth
  • improve health and wellbeing for rural and urban communities

For further information and to take part in the public consultation that runs until 20 August 2021, see consultation page.

River Roding project, Essex

The River Roding flood alleviation scheme will reduce flooding to 600 residential properties, commercial properties and infrastructure in area around Woodford and Ilford. It will also improve the River Roding for wildlife and for people to enjoy.

The project includes building a flood storage area on the River Roding at Shonks Mill Bridge. This will involve building a long earth embankment and control structure on the river. The river will flow naturally for most of the time but during high flows and increased flood risk, flood water will be stored behind the earth embankment in a temporary reservoir. This will reduce the river flow and risk of flooding downstream. As the flood risk recedes it will drain back naturally into the River Roding.

The project includes refurbishing two stretches of existing flood embankments in Woodford to improve the defences against the impact of projected climate change.

Further information can be found at the Environment Agency consultation page.

Eastbourne to Pevensey Bay flood defence scheme

The Eastbourne to Pevensey Bay flood defence scheme will better protect 10,000 homes and businesses from flooding, as well as key infrastructure, including the A27 and railway line.

Carbon efficiencies will play a key part in the design and construction of the scheme. It will embrace new technology and ways of working with the aim of achieving 50% carbon savings.

The scheme, which has only recently started, is currently going into the design options phase. As the project progresses the Environment Agency and partner, Eastbourne Borough Council, will engage and consult with local residents and stakeholders throughout the key stages of the scheme.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

The tragic recent events in Germany and Belgium serve as a sobering reminder of how devastating flooding can be.

We are standing by communities and will bolster defences against flooding across England with many thousands more properties better protected by 2027.

It’s important we take action right across the system. Our comprehensive plan will achieve this by tightening planning procedures, helping more people access insurance and making homes more resilient to the effects of flooding.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:

We have seen some devastating flooding around the world so far this summer. No one can prevent all flooding and climate change means the risk is increasing, but we can reduce the risks. Having completed the government’s previous 6 year capital programme on time and on budget, better protecting more than 314,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion, this year we began the government’s new £5.2 billion flood programme.

These schemes should provide reassurance to communities and businesses, but no one should have a false sense of security. I strongly urge people to sign up for flood warnings and regularly check flood risk on

Summary of the EA capital programme 2021/2022 in the South East

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