In July 2016, we held a public exhibition at the Village Hall to present our preferred option for potential work through the village that aims to reduce the risk of flooding from the river and sea to 63 properties. We also explained that central government funding is unlikely to cover the full costs of the preferred option, and that partnership funding would be required to enable any scheme to be implemented.
Since then, based on your feedback, we have been:
For further information please contact the project team by using the following contact details:
Flooding Matters updates - 2015 to 2016
On 22nd January 2015 the Environment Agency staged the first of the planned Exhibition/Drop In Workshops at the Village Hall to outline the short list of three 'schemes' that could be implemented as part of the Wallington Flood Defence Improvements project. A good number of villagers took the opportunity to study the displays and to ask questions of the Agency staff in attendance. The accompanying WVCA display input had been very professionally prepared by Richard Boswell and was well received. The Cost/benefit analysis results had to be held over due to the run-up to the General Election.
By the time of the 2015 AGM in June of that year the Agency's follow up work could be summarised and an information note was distributed, the text of which is below:
Wallington Village is at risk of flooding from the river, the sea and surface water. In 2006 the Environment Agency looked at options to reduce the risk of river flooding. However, we were unable to identify an option that could be developed for a reasonable cost.
In 2012 the government introduced the Partnership Funding approach. This links the amount of funding available for a project to the benefits it can deliver. It may not cover the full cost of the project, but it allows funding to be 'topped up' through alternative sources e.g. working in partnership with other organisations, financial contributions, sponsorship, allowing free access over private land or offering the use of land for construction site offices.
We are now working with the local community and the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership in an attempt to develop an approach for managing flooding risk in Wallington from all sources.
Progress to date
We reviewed the flood history of the area and studied existing reports to identify all potential ways of improving the level of protection in Wallington. These are some of the options we considered:
We used a computer model to check how well each option would reduce flood risk. Unfortunately, our modelling revealed that many of the options would not provide a significant reduction in flood risk and the list has been narrowed down to the following 3 options:
Make the most of the existing river walls - The River Wallington has a series of walls along its banks and a number of pipes running into the river. The aim of this option is to maximise the protection from the walls by repairing, strengthening or building them up to a consistent level. Fitting non-return flaps to the pipes will ensure river water does not flow back up the pipes and cause flooding
Property level measures - Some properties in Wallington have been fitted with protective devices to reduce the damage caused during flood events. Other properties might also benefit from these devices. There are many types of doors, barriers and gates designed to limit water getting into your property. Raising electric sockets and the use of waterproof plaster can also help your home be more resilient to flooding.
Change how the river catchment is managed - Managing the river above Wallington (including how water enters the river) could slow the flow of water through parts of the catchment. This could change the way flood flows develop, reducing peak flood levels and spreading them more evenly across the tidal cycle.
We will continue using the computer model to test and develop these 3 options. We will also look at the cost, benefits and risks of each option and what funding is available. Once we understand how each option will reduce flood risk and how much it costs, we can choose the preferred one. Once the preferred option has been chosen, we will identify the likely environmental risks, prepare outline designs and carry out further consultation with the local community and other interested parties. We will then prepare a business case for building the preferred option. This will be submitted for approval in winter 2015. If the Environment Agency budget holders approve the business case and we secure funding for the project, we hope to start work on site in 2016, but this is not guaranteed.
To help us understand the cost and risks of each option, we need to look at the ground conditions along the river and beneath the river walls. During the course of the summer 2015 we will be installing 3 boreholes at different locations across the village between the Water Meadow in North Wallington and the flood bund along Wallington Shore Road. We will also be digging a series of small trenches along the riverward side of the river walls. We may require access through some gardens during this time. We will write to you in the next month with more details.
Notice was also given that a second public exhibition and update would be held in January 2016. Regrettably this had to be postponed pending local elections and the EU Referendum and it did not actually take place until 7th July.
The three main Display Boards leading to an Environment Agency preferred option may be seen by clicking on the following links.
A brief summary of the options short list and the factors leading up to their choice of option is below:
Options 1 and 2 Raise floodwalls and embankments to provide a 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 year (respectively) level of protection against flooding from the river.
Option 3 Raise floodwalls and embankments to provide a 1 in 200 year level of protection against flooding from the sea.
Option 4 A combination of the options above to manage the risk of flooding from the river and the sea.
Two other options of the six originally short-listed are still in the frame but may be 'long-term aspirations to be delivered outside of this project.'
Regrettably all of the studied options yielded very low benefit/cost ratios and are therefore unlikely to attract Government funding. A possible direction could be their partnership Funding approach introduced in 2012.
The EA now want to hear opinions on their preferred option and subsequently intend to refine the design, seek to source the funding shortfall and, once secured, prepare a business case for the project.