NEW flood defences costing more than £40 million have been completed after two years of work.

The Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls Defence Scheme will protect more than 2,300 homes and 150 commercial properties currently at risk from flooding. The defences stretch from the harbour mouth up the River Adur to the A27.

Chief executive of the Environment Agency Sir James Bevan said the defences would protect the seaside town “for the next hundred years” as sea levels rise due to climate change.

He said: “The standard here is higher than most of our projects. In any given year there’s now only a one-in-300 chance of flooding.

“Residents will see more investment in the town, as well as lower insurance prices and more safety in their own homes.

“Ultimately the project is about making Shoreham an even better place.”

Many Shoreham residents still have memories of the 2013 floods that swept through the city, including submerging parts of the airport.

But this new project uses materials, including 15,000 bricks which should prevent the Adur from bursting its banks any time soon.

A network of underwater and on-land walls have been installed, decreasing the risk of high tides flooding the town.

Most of the funding for the £45 million project came from the Government, while Coast To Capital Local Enterprise Partnership contributed £6 million.

Adur District Council spent £800,000 on the project, a “vital investment” in the words of council leader Neil Parkin.

Cllr Parkin said: “It’s what’s stopping Shoreham-by-Sea from becoming Shoreham-in-Sea. Before these defences, all it took was a full moon, a strong southerly wind, and a high tide and the conditions for a flood were there. Now Shoreham residents can sleep safely.”

Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, said: “In a time when it’s difficult to get investment, it’s a really good news.

“I’m sure this will help businesses in Shoreham to succeed.”