Friday, 29 March 2013

Shoebury Common Flood Defences Public Consultation

Next month, from the 15th April to the 12th May, the long awaited public consultation on the Shoebury Common flood defences will take place.

Between these dates an exibhition of the plans will be on display at Thorpedene Library with a public meeting to be held on the 22nd April at Shoeburyness High School, starting at 19:30.

It is important that residents come along to the meeting and view the plans so they can have their say and feed in their thoughts so they can be incorporated into the final design on the embankment concept to go for planning permission.

From the residents that I have spoken to I do not believe that there is universal opposition to the flood defences being proposed at Shoebury Common, despite a leaflet doing the rounds from a couple of local individuals.

From time to time it is inevitable that people will disagree with their elected representatives and unlike the UKIP candidate in West Shoebury in recent years I will not resort to abusing those that I disagree with.

Whilst the two authors of the leaflet live on high ground and are not at risk of flooding at Shoebury Common, I do find it somewhat distasteful to illicit support for their campaign to stop the improved flood defences from residents in the flood plain plus claim that Shoebury Common is a low risk area and describe the sea defences as a luxury we can not afford.

According to the Environment Agency map, the following roads and areas in West Shoebury, Shoeburyness and Thorpe wards are at risk from flooding at Shoebury Common:

Doing nothing at Shoebury Common could have some serious consequences. At present, in a recent survey of the flood defences, homes currently in the flood plain at risk of flooding once every five years, eventually leading to the risk of flooding every year. If we act now with the proposed scheme the risk of flooding to homes reduces to one in two hundred years.

If we do nothing and keep with the existing level of protection at Shoebury Common, not only is there a real risk to peoples lives and homes, there is also a real danger that in the future that homes in the blue areas may become uninsurable.

As the rumour mill has gone into overdrive, many people believe that a huge brick wall is going to be placed on top of the existing sea wall at Shoebury Common creating a 'Canvey Island' effect. The leaflet depicting a brick wall on the front asking residents to help urgently stop this being built certainly has not helped. The artist impression circulated at the Shoebury Residents Association meeting on this issue last Spring does not suggest that a structure resembling the Berlin Wall is about to be built.

The one thing that has been striking since the proposed flood defence enhancements are were first put in the public domain last year is that all the Independent Party and Conservative councillors in Thorpe, Shoeburyness and West Shoebury wards are fully supportive of the proposed flood defence arguably the only issue which has united all nine councillors.

1 comment:

Bill Dashfield said...

I think some clarification / correction is in order in this blog posting. You state "At present, in a recent survey of the flood defences, homes currently in the flood plain at risk of flooding once every five years, eventually leading to the risk of flooding every year. " (sic) below an image showing extensive flooding. However, what the Council's leaflet says is "New research by the Council’s specialist coastal advisers, Black and Veatch, in the
course of developing the project has identified a variable standard of protection at this
location with a minimum standard of “once in five years”. This does not mean that full
scale flooding would be expected at five yearly intervals, nor that the area is safe from
flooding for the next five years. It means that there is a 20% (1 in 5) risk that some
water will overtop the wall some time within each year. Tides which would create the
sort of widespread flooding which is suggested on the flood zone plans are very rare
events, but their impact could be catastrophic.
(bolding added). There appears to be a big difference between your "flooding once every five years" and the Council's engineer's "very rare

I'm not wishing to understate the risk - more information on what "some overtopping" means is needed.
There is a huge difference between a few wave-tops coming over the top of a wall at high tide with a storm surge, and the tide rising significantly over the top of the wall.

Perhaps you could find out and update your Blog, as a Civic service?