Issues to Address
The North Solent Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), which is the high level policy document setting out the future management of the coastline, has a Hold the Line (HTL) policy for the coast where Langstone village is situated. However a policy of HTL does not mean that public funding is secured or guaranteed. Portchester Castle to Emsworth draft coastal flood and erosion risk management strategy, which defines how to deliver the high level policies in the SMP for smaller local areas, has the following recommendation for the Langstone coastline:
“The defences around Langstone could be improved by raising the crest height or by using demountable defences. It is recognised that securing central government funding will be difficult and existing defences should be maintained where possible. We encourage homeowners to continue to be prepared and to take action to protect their properties from flooding whilst funds for improvement works are sought”.
- The defences in all the areas are mixed and mainly owned by private landowners.
- The present community, particularly those located in the area known as the High Street, regularly experience tidal flooding events and there is evidence that they are well prepared, have taken individual flood protection measures and demonstrate a significant level of resilience.
- There is little evidence that future changes in flood risk are being addressed by the community.
- Some of the residents may be aware of the risks and others may not have had the opportunity to be engaged in any coastal change discussions.
Community Liaison and Events
- June 2013, a letter was delivered to the 200 properties in Langstone Village deemed to be most at risk of flooding informing them of the CCATCH project.
- First community meeting was held in July 2013, attended by 35 people. Presentation on future flood risk and feedback from the community that they wanted to develop a community flood plan and know more about property level protection.
- Second community meeting was held in October 2013, attended by 30 people. Presentation of property level protection from the National Flood Forum and the formation of a working group of local people to develop a community flood plan.
- November 2013 to January 2014, a working group met to develop the Flood Plan which includes three information sheets: think tidal flooding, what to do at the time of high flood risk and organisational arrangements.
- Third Community meeting was held in January 2014, attended by 60 people. Launch of Flood Plan. Community briefed by working group members as to how the plan would work.
- Copies of the Flood Plan information sheets (laminated) delivered to the 200 households most at risk of flooding.
- Community Flood Plan was produced and implemented.
- A Community Adaptation Plan has been produced which includes a vision and proposed actions for the short to long term.
- A Local Flood Planning group was established.
- A flood kit (wheel barrow, cones, mobile phone, email account, torches, loud hailer etc.) was provided by the CCATCH project to support the implementation of the plan.
- Other flooding issues were identified and discussions initiated to bring them into the flood planning process.
- Improved local links with Emergency Planners.
Key Lesson Learnt
- Flooding is not the same everywhere! Ensure that local knowledge is incorporated into any response to flooding.
- There is often the need to deal with short-term issues before people are prepared to consider the long-term.
- Practical, non-bureaucratic solutions get the thumbs up from local communities.
Taking the Project Forward
- The Flood Plan has been designed to be ‘adaptable’. The systems and procedures it contains will be able to accommodate more properties and new areas if and when the flood risk increases.
- The Flood Plan has been ‘institutionalised’ at a local level by ensuring that both the Langstone Village Association and the Langstone Residents Association have been involved and will support it in the long term.
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