Urgent protection against flooding

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New images of the Lewes North Street Quarter riverside walk and flood defences have been released by Santon and Lewes District Council.

The pictures show how cyclists and pedestrians will both be able to travel along the Ouse riverside from the Causeway to the South Downs, if the application is approved.

A double level riverside walk will offer a promenade on top of the flood defences and a grassy pathway below, as well as a new foot and cycle bridge across the river, creating an easy link from the town centre and new development to the Malling Fields and South Downs countryside beyond.

A spokesman for North Street said: “Urgent protection against flooding was one of the main things local people asked for during our pre-application and recent consultations and we will complete the flood defences as part of the first phase of construction on this development, which represents an enormous infrastructure investment.

“People also asked for the riverside to be opened up to them, as currently there is a wall along the Phoenix Estate which blocks the river from view – our scheme will deliver a riverside pathway for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy the riverside fully, as well as views from the Causeway.”Upstream of Lewes, considerable efforts by the Environment Agency are being made to encourage the management of the undeveloped land, arable acres and woodlands to be sensitive towards the way in which rainfall run-off happens. This management can, at modest costs, significantly affect the rate of flow and volumes of flood water reaching Lewes at the critical time during a flood risk event. All of this will have a positive impact on flood risk for all the towns along the Ouse, with Lewes gaining most benefit as it is the second furthest town downstream.

A complementary water strategy, built into the scheme’s design, will provide attractive water features within public open spaces, which will also boost the area’s wildlife. Rainwater run-off will be managed on site through permeable paving and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), which use open swales and water gardens instead of drains, supporting eco-diversity and helping alleviate the risk of flooding. Public launch access points will be built along the North Street Quarter for small boats. The health centre will also include public gardens leading down to the riverside.

(See letters page for more)

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