Houses on stilts to overcome flood risk - preposterous!

As usual the first paper I grabbed on Friday(4 Oct) was the Sussex Express, the Argus and my broadsheet national could wait.

What gems in the news, letters, parish pump or articles would I find, and there on the front page, Keeping the River Ouse at Bay, was a beauty to get the little grey cells working.

So let’s start asking questions.

Who are these anonymous experts and do they conform to the definition of an expert and I quote from one source as follows: “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area”. What are their areas, certainly not structural and civil engineering.

They have based their scenario on a predicted sea level rise of 1.5 metres in 2150, however the latest IPCC 5th 2100 ranging from 0.26 to 0.82 metres depending on which of their predicted global temperatures rises is correct. What a catastrophe we would be looking at if the prediction of the IPCC and joint Nobel Prize winner Al Gore of 20feet (6.1 metres) was still the case, as one of our local “experts” said Lewes would become an archipelago.

Lifting buildings and placing on stilts – Harveys Brewery, Argos? – there are no land based cranes capable of the lift and jacking them up – not feasible.

Making them float? – Archimedes principle precludes that idea. They would also have to be ballasted to correctly position the centre of gravity and if that were possible, how would services such as gas and electricity be connected? Moving buildings to higher ground? The Bell Tout Lighthouse 17 metres move operation would suggest that is not a possibility.

These are some of the questions. Perhaps just one other is – have the experts done any cost estimates?

Another minor gem appears on page 9 where Green Cllr Ashley Price calls for more “affordable housing” whatever that term means coupled with the report on page 13 of a further “consultation work-shop” on the North Street Quarter development.

Lewes Stop the Cuts want the developer Stanton to include “social housing”.

Am I the only one confused. What are affordable houses? Is their price range based on size and levels of accommodation and are social houses bought and owned by a local authority to let to tenants and would this mean buying from the developer out of the authority’s funds(tax revenue)?.

Perhaps during the consultation workshop the possibility of the houses being mounted on stilts could be raised.

Brian Beck

Lewes