Major £17.5 million Newhaven flood alleviation scheme completed and unveiled

A new major flood alleviation scheme in Newhaven will be unveiled this week following the completion of a £17.5 million upgrade of flood defences on both banks of the River Ouse estuary.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 4:48 pm
West Quay, Newhaven, where the scheme will be unveiled

Simon Moody, Environment Agency area director for Solent and South Downs, will be joined by Maria Caulfield MP and invited guests and stakeholders for the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the scheme now being in operation.

The Environment Agency has successfully completed more than four kilometres of upgraded flood defences for the community of Newhaven, which will provide better protection from flooding for many local homes and businesses, as well as important local infrastructure such as the road network, railway line and two train stations.

The need to extend flood defences across a live railway line on the northern edge of the town was a notable challenge for the project team. To overcome this, the Environment Agency, JacksonHyder and Network Rail collaborated to design a solution to enable temporary demountable defences to be deployed across the railway during a flood event – the first of its kind in the UK. Works were timed to fit in with scheduled railway closures which meant planning the work for multiple short timeslots spaced between November 2020 and June 2021.

This flood alleviation scheme, delivered in partnership with Lewes District Council, South East Local and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnerships and Newhaven Town Council, also contributes to the wider regeneration of Newhaven, helping to bring new investment, jobs and homes to the town and the surrounding area.

Nick Gray, flood and coastal risk manager for the Environment Agency, said: “We are pleased to announce the completion of this £17.5 million partnership project, which will improve the standard of flood protection to 430 homes and 390 businesses in the Newhaven area.

“Despite our efforts, we cannot prevent all flooding. It’s vital everyone knows the threat to them and how to keep loved ones, property and possession safe. Go to or search ‘check my flood risk’ to sign up for Environment Agency flood warnings, receive information on the risk in your area and what to do in a flood.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our partners and the Newhaven community for their support throughout the duration of the project.”

Maria Caulfield MP for Lewes said: “I am so pleased to see this investment in flood defences by the Environment Agency here in Newhaven which give confidence to the local community.

“This scheme involved funding and participation from a number of different stakeholders, and I am grateful to both the Coast to Capital and South East Local Enterprise Partnerships who each contributed £1.5 million to the project.

“I look forward to unveiling the plaque on 15 October and welcoming this new infrastructure to Newhaven, which is continuing to see significant investment as we work to level up the country.”

Members of the public can check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date at and follow @EnvAgencySE on Twitter for the latest flood updates.