PEOPLE living in areas at risk of coastal flooding are being given more information about the possible risks.
More than 1,600 homes and 700 commercial properties are currently at risk of flooding in Seaford and the lower Ouse valley but by 2150 the coastline is expected to be at an even more serious risk.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Sea-levels in general are also rising and tides could be around 1.5 metres higher by 2150, even on a calm day.
“These changes will increase erosion and mean that more effort is needed to maintain the beach and sea wall.
“Eventually there may be a need to raise and strengthen the flood defences or pursue alternative options to reduce flood risk.
“Flood risk, erosion and storm damage will increase in future due to climate change and sea-level rise and the coastline will continue to change. Understanding and working with natural forces will help us to manage this process.
“Storms could happen more often and be more powerful in the future due to climate change, causing bigger waves and more storm surges.”
The spokesman added: “Sea-levels in Newhaven could be around 1.5 metres higher by 2150 based on current projections. Storm surges, which cause higher tides, could also be more common in future due to climate change.
“In December 2013, a storm resulted in the highest tide ever recorded in Newhaven.
“Unless they are adapted, some properties and infrastructure will be at increasing risk, including the roads, railway, electricity grid, water supplies and drainage.
“Options include increasing the height of the quayside, raising buildings and infrastructure up or moving to higher ground.”
Next Thursday the Environment Agency and members of the Coastal Futures Group will formally open a climate trail connecting Seaford Esplanade, Tide Mills, Newhaven’s West Quay, the Youth Hostel at Southease and the Linklater Pavilion in Lewes with information on the challenges posed by the changing environment.
John Gower, CC2150 project manager for the Environment Agency, said: “By working together with communities in Seaford, Newhaven, Lewes and the surrounding parishes CC2150 has shown how communities can contribute to managing their flood risk and their local environment in the future.”
On July 7, the Coastal Futures Group is holding an evening to find new members at the Hillcrest Centre, Newhaven from 6pm to 8pm.
People are invited to join for a two-year programme helping to deliver the action plan. Meetings will be held four times each year in the Newhaven, Seaford and Lewes area.
For more information email CC2150@environment-agency.gov.uk.