Raising river’s tidal walls
Earlier this year Rye News was reporting on how close the town came to being flooded, and there was an even closer call at the end of 2013, writes Charles Harkness.
In 2015 Rye News reported on the very high tides then which flooded the Wednesday Farmers Market on Strand Quay.
The photo above shows in particular how much of the eastern bank of the Rother river is at risk from possible flooding – particularly if fierce winds cause a tidal surge on days when the tide is at its predicted high point anyway.
Some 1,400 homes in Rye are said to be at risk of flooding, that risk figures strongly when new housing developments are being considered, and the Environment Agency has had to make that point strongly to Rother District Council (RDC) planners.
So, for the same reasons, improvements to Rye’s flood defences have been high on the Agency’s agenda. Kenneth Bird reports below on the latest developments.
The long-awaited project to raise the eastern embankment of the Rother river is now under way. A private exhibition was held by invitation only for King’s Avenue and New Road residents on Tuesday April 18 at the Rye Creative Centre in New Road.
Flood Risk technical managers from the Environment Agency (EA) were on hand to explain the proposals and answer questions.
Extending from the river mouth to Scots Float sluice and lock upstream near the turning off Military Road to Houghton Green and Iden, where the river ceases to be tidal, the work is part of the larger Folkestone to Cliff End project which has so far involved more than £130 million being spent on the protection of Romney Marsh.
The focus of the exhibition was upon the area north of Monkbretton bridge, which lies between the river and houses on King’s Avenue. In order to raise the embankment level, its base will need to be widened.
Negotiations are now proceeding with the landowners, understood to be Amicus Horizon, the housing association, and local residents.
The exhibition was open “by invitation only”, apparently on the grounds that the EA is bound by the civil service rules governing election-period publicity known as “purdah” when any type of activity which may influence voters is suspended.
The county council elections and now the calling of the general election on June 8 were the reasons cited.
However, the EA intends to hold a fuller public exhibition in the summer.