Issue 9: July 2011

Welcome to our monthly email, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news about the Medmerry managed realignment scheme.


Click here for background information and history of the scheme.

Detailed design is complete
We have completed the detailed design of the new floodbanks, habitats and public access, and we have submitted drawings and reports to Chichester District Council (CDC) so that they can release their planning conditions for the scheme. The designs will be available for people to see at public events in August.


As well as the detailed engineering drawings, our submission to CDC also includes how we will take account of the archaeology on the site, and ensure water voles, great crested newts and other protected species will be safeguarded in the scheme. 


On July 25 we began further investigations into the ground conditions where the banks are to be built. This will allow us to make any adjustments necessary to the construction programme in preparation for work starting in the autumn.


Local involvement and the Medmerry Stakeholders Advisory Group (MStAG)

We are holding the next MStAG meeting on Tuesday 30 August, which draws together representatives of local parish and town councils, access, environment and residents groups. At this meeting we will share the final designs for the scheme with the group, and talk through the construction process in more detail.


We will also discuss with the group the best ways to communicate with them and the wider communities, throughout the construction period. As part of our ongoing communications strategy we have appointed a Public Liaison Officer, Jacqui Bandy. It is anticipated that Jacqui will be available on site at least once a week throughout the construction period. 


We will be getting out into the community in the next couple of months, including an exhibition courtesy of Manhood Wildlife & Heritage at the Selsey Festival, and some guided walks around parts of the Medmerry site. We will share more details of these with you soon.


Other news

         At the last MStAG meeting, some concerns were raised about the future designation of Medmerry as a conservation site. We are planning to hold a meeting with some of the concerned members of MStAG in September, and will feed back a summary of these discussions to the MStAG group.

         At the seaward end of the new flood defences there will be rock revetments to protect the most vulnerable parts of the defences during storms. The rock for this will be brought in by sea this autumn, and deposited on the beach at high tide, to be moved behind the beach at low tide by lorry. During these works we expect to temporarily close sections of the beach for health and safety reasons. We aim to keep these closures as short as possible, and we will provide more details nearer the time.

         The RSPB has been very helpful in starting to prepare the plans for how the farmland in the site can best be managed during construction. The RSPB will be working with local farmers to deliver this.


What will we be doing next?

Our project schedule is unchanged and we are on programme to start construction in autumn 2011. Our current schedule is:

         August 2011: Install special fencing in the places where we will need to trap reptiles and great crested newts to move them to safer areas. The trapping will be carried in out in September 2011.

         September 2011: Construction of the access track to the main site compound from the Sidlesham water treatment works.

         October 2011: Main construction works begin, starting with building the floodbanks that are nearer to the beach.

         Spring 2012: Construction continues on the new inland flood banks.

         Autumn 2012: New inland flood banks complete.

         Spring 2013: Breach made in existing shingle bank. Access to the new footpaths, cycleways and bridleways opens to the public


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Colin Maplesden

Project Manager






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