Southend to become national exemplar for coastal erosion risk management

The Southend-on-Sea Borough Council cabinet is discussing the submission of an outline business case for the innovative Catchment to Coast project.

The business case is due to be submitted to DEFRA by the Catchment to Coast Partnership, and seeks to confirm a further £5.464m of funding up to March 2027.

The project was granted approval by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (DEFRA) in May 2021 and awarded £672,000 from the Innovative Resilience Fund in October 2021. It forms one of only 25 pilots nationwide to receive capital funding.

The Council is acting as the project lead and the additional funding means Southend-on-Sea is set to become a national exemplar for how it manages the risk of flood and coastal erosion.

The partnership intends to address the current risks of flooding and coastal erosion in Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock as well as parts of Rochford and Castle Point.

The project spans three catchments and will deliver innovative flood and coastal resilience through a combination of nature-based solutions, sustainable drainage systems and erosion protection. 

“This funding will enable us to deliver an innovative programme that will primarily address the risks of surface water flooding and coastal erosion of historic landfill sites across the boroughs,” said Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism, and planning.

“To achieve this, the Catchment to Coast project will examine, implement and evaluate the use of natural flood management in the upper catchments and along the coastlines of Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea.”

“The project will include working with local universities to provide opportunities for PhD research projects, whilst supporting the monitoring and evaluation of the project, also developing and piloting a visual surface water beacon in order to warn those living in high-risk areas of potential surface water flooding.”

Photo: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council