Following the welcome albeit piecemeal improvements detailed in Developments Since 2000, public funding for Lewes river flood defences has come to an end, leaving some
gaping holes in the flood defences and a big question about the lack of any clear longterm plan for protecting the town from an increasing threat of major flooding.
The identifiable gaps are:
Right (West) bank of the Ouse
North Street area and Pells area (Pelham Terrace, Talbot Terrace, Toronto Terrace)
There are advanced plans for the redevelopment of North Street which will be conditional on the provision by the developer of flood defences to a standard of at least 1:150 years. There is a further requirement that the developer must also pay for the protection of the Pells area.
Town Centre West area
This is the last major area of the town with no flood protection in place or in view at this time. It includes not only the railway station and some low-lying housing but also two large sheltered-housing complexes for older people.
Left (East) bank of the Ouse
North Malling area
This small area has no general defences beyond the normal river banks, although we understand that a protective bund is being considered (early 2015).
Individual properties have been provided with limited protection.
Note: In considering the question of what statistical level of protection from flooding the town requires it should be taken into account that the flood of 2000 would have required a roughly 180:1 year level of protection to resist it. The only part of our new defences with that degree of protection is the Malling/Spences Lane area, while the Cliffe commercial and residential hub and the Town Centre West area both fall well below it as well as the North Street area in its current state.
There are also surface water and drainage problems in several parts of the town in times of heavy and sustained rainfall which contribute to the risk element even in areas such as Spences Lane which have now been protected from river flooding.