Shoreham scheme picks up prestigious national award

The Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls scheme picked up the top infrastructure accolade at the grand final of the RICS Social Impact Awards, the ultimate recognition of its positive and transformational contribution to society.

Carried out by Mackley working as part of Team Van Oord and on behalf of the Environment Agency, the £31m Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls scheme was completed in February 2019.

The scheme has significantly reduced the flood risk for nearly 2,500 residential and commercial properties in Shoreham-by-Sea and East Lancing.

At the RICS Social Impact Awards, South East, on 11 June 2020, the scheme was named winner in the Infrastructure category – meaning it moved forward to the national Grand Final.

The judging process was tough and included a site visit from a panel of experts. Each project was judged on their human, social and environmental impact, as well as the collaboration and innovation involved.

At the Grand Final, held virtually on 24 November, the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls scheme was crowned the national winner, beating competition from the eight other regional winners.

Gary Page, Director at Mackley, said: “This award win is excellent news for the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls scheme.

“Well done to everyone involved in the project for a great team effort.”

Designed to last for 100 years
Prior to works getting underway in 2016, Shoreham had been identified as ‘vulnerable’ – with the previous flood defences along the River Adur reaching the end of their useful life.

In response, a scheme to strengthen and improve flood defences on both sides of the river was implemented, led by the Environment Agency in conjunction with Adur District Council,

West Sussex County Council and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

The project covered the west bank of the river all the way from Shoreham Fort to the airport, and the east bank from Coronation Green to the A27.

Different parts of the river required different types of defences, with varying work timetables and installation techniques. As a result, the project was split into 10 sections – known as reaches – to simplify operations.

Each reach was overseen by its own expert management team, who led the work and met regularly with the public to keep them up to date with progress on the project.

Other types of defences constructed as part of the scheme included embankments, rock revetments, flood glass, and property level protection – all of which combined will reduce the likelihood of flooding in any given year.

The flood defence scheme wasn’t limited to just building physical flood barriers. The project was developed with an environmental focus – particularly around the Adur Estuary Nature Reserve.

This ranged from the safe handling and relocation of local wildlife and the creation of new habitats to the protection of rare wildflowers. Noise and dust pollution were also strictly monitored and controlled.

The scheme’s design was sensitive to the particular unique heritage and environment of Shoreham. An archaeological investigation was undertaken in areas of interest and extensive ecological survey work was carried out to protect existing habitats and vulnerable species.

27 November 2020

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