Issue 6: March 2011

Welcome to our monthly email, keeping you up to date with the latest news about the Medmerry managed realignment scheme. You may have noticed that we did not issue an e-update in February, as we were busy holding a meeting with the Medmerry Stakeholders Advisory Group (MStAG). As a result, this month’s update is full of information – we hope you find it useful!


Click here for background information and history of the scheme.

MStAG meeting
On 17 February we held the first MStAG meeting of 2011. The summary report and presentation for the meeting will shortly be on the Medmerry web page by following the link above.

The key issues discussed at the meeting were:

·         an update on the design of the scheme and future timeline;

·         proposals for how the Environment Agency will engage with customers and local communities during implementation of the scheme;

·         revised Terms of Reference for MStAG in order to reflect the group’s changing role through design and construction;

·         an update on the wider enhancement aspirations for the site, including information on the Floodcom funding bid put together by Chichester District Council and the RSPB.

It was agreed that the next MStAG meeting will be held in May 2011 to review the final design and proposed construction plans.


Making good progress on detailed design…
We have been busy working on the final scheme design since we were last in touch in January. Key areas of progress are:

·         We have finalised the bank alignment. This has been moved by a small amount in a few places in order to take account of field boundaries and drainage.

·         We are now planning to have a 5m wide grassed bridleway around the outside of the site, in order to keep equestrian users separate from pedestrians and cyclists.

·         We are looking at reducing the number of freshwater outfalls around the site from 8 to 4. This is where freshwater ditches on the Manhood Peninsula drain through big sluices into the managed realignment scheme and hence out to sea. Hydraulic modelling is showing that only 4 are required to manage the catchment, and fewer concrete sluices will mean an improvement in landscape terms, as well as a reduction in costs. A ditch will run around the perimeter, outside of the bridleway, helping to channel the water to the outfalls, and creating the necessary length of mitigation habitat for water voles.

·         We have been working with the RSPB on some early design work for local viewing points.

Further drawings and updates will be made available following the next MStAG meeting.

Our site and design work for species mitigation is continuing as planned. If you would like to know more about this please let us know.

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Other investigations, licences and approvals

Over the past couple of months we have carried out some of the additional investigation work that we told you about in the January e-update. This work has included:

·         Investigation works undertaken in Bookers Lane in Earnley, in order to look at the depth and location of the existing culvert. This has been completed and the results are feeding into our design work for the new structures in this location;

·         Utility searches across the scheme area. Again these have been successfully completed;

·         An application has been submitted to Chichester District Council for the permanent diversion of two short lengths of footpath that will fall within the proposed intertidal area. If you would like to know more about this please let us know.


What will we be doing next?

Our project schedule remains virtually unchanged since we shared it with you in January. We are currently investigating the best time of year to undertake the breach in the existing shingle bank, and we will update you once this is decided. Therefore, our current schedule is:

·        May 2011: Complete detailed design.

·        Autumn 2011: Construction starts for access routes and sluices.

·        Spring 2012: Construction starts for new inland flood banks.

·        Autumn 2012: New inland flood banks complete.

·        Autumn 2012 or Spring 2013: Breach made in existing shingle bank.

The Medmerry scheme is on the list of flood and coastal risk management schemes to which the Environment Agency Board has allocated Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) grant in aid for 2011/12.  It is subject to approval from the Regional Flood Defence Committees.


How can you get involved?
We really appreciate the support for the scheme you have shown so far. We will continue to use these monthly e-updates to share with you progress on the scheme. In the meantime if you have any questions about the project, please contact us.

We would also encourage you to contact your MStAG representative before their May meeting if you have any ideas or concerns you have for the area. At this meeting we will discuss the progress on the detailed design of the project, which by this time will be near to completion. We will also look at how the site will be managed throughout the construction period, and also into the future, once the new inland flood defences have been completed.

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Further details about the project are available on our website:

You can also email the project team on:

If you would like to be taken off the distribution list for the Medmerry e-update, please let us know by replying to this email. If you know anyone who would like to receive this e-update please ask them to contact this email address.

Colin Maplesden

Project Manager