City Beach could be set for new greenery and public areas as part of an exciting project to improve water management and climate resilience in the city.
Southend-on-sea City Council, Anglian Water and the Regional Flood & Coastal Committee are seeking views on the Marine Parade Sustainable Water Management Scheme, which is poised to be the first large-scale, sustainable water management initiative in Southend-on-Sea, and aims to create an integrated, climate-resilient environment.
The City Beach section of Marine Parade often suffers from surface water flooding after heavy rain, and the scheme is a proactive response to these challenges that are caused by our changing climate.
Exciting images released today show some proposed changes to help with this, with the creation of special gardens that collect, treat, store and use rainwater in a smart way.
The plan includes building places where extra water can be safely stored during big storms, to prevent flooding. Special surface water flood warning beacons will also be installed that light up to warn that there is a risk of surface water flooding, so everyone can stay safe.
There is also a plan to run programmes to teach people about how we can use nature to handle water better and take care of our environment. This means you will not only see improvements in your area but also learn how these changes help and how you can be a part of them.
The council has secured over £2m of external funding to support the project, including £764,290 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DHLUC) and £500,000 from Anglian Water, and £800,000 from the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee to support their objectives to reduce rainwater in sewers, improve flood resilience, reduce mains water use, cut carbon emissions, and enhance biodiversity.
Councillor Meg Davidson, cabinet member for environment at Southend-on-Sea City Council, said: “The Marine Parade Scheme demonstrates our commitment to a sustainable water future and addressing climate change. This isn't just about stopping surface water flooding; it is also about making the area look great and more attractive for residents, businesses and visitors through new green spaces and clever use of public space.
“This project seeks to create a space where nature thrives, where everyone can enjoy improved public space, and where education on sustainable practices is also key.
“I am grateful for the collective effort and financial backing from our partners which is crucial for the project's success and demonstrates a strong, unified commitment to improving Southend for the benefit of all its residents, businesses and visitors and addressing some of the challenges we face.”
How to get involved
Your input is invaluable. Visit the exhibition on the ground floor of The Victoria Shopping Centre on 1 February 2024, to share your thoughts with the council’s engineers or participate online via the YourSay Southend website.
The consultation period closes on 25 March 2024. For alternative consultation formats, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A summary of the consultation outcomes will be published on the Your Say Southend Website, ensuring transparency and community involvement.