Earnley Flood Alleviation Scheme Update

FUNDING UPDATE

We have been finalising the detailed designs for the Earnley Flood Alleviation Scheme at Bookers Lane.
From these detailed designs, our contractor has been able to provide a quote, which gives us a clearer idea of the likely build costs for the project; these costs are currently higher than the amount of funding secured for the scheme. This is largely due to:
– An increase in the costs of digging the channel. This is partly because we have had to change the designs following the identification of underground services (gas and foul main).
– An increase in support costs. This is because construction is likely to last longer than initially anticipated, due in part to limitations on when we can close the roads to install the new culverts.
– A more detailed understanding of the risks during construction, including the impacts of weather, river flow and ground water.
We met with the contractor to review the proposal, and we identified some savings, however these were not sufficient to bring the costs within budget. We have also independently reviewed the contractor’s submission and believe the costs reasonable.
The funding on this project has always been tight with a limited allowance for contingencies. We have worked hard throughout to deliver a scheme which is as economical as possible. We are continuing to look for ways we can reduce the cost, and are working with West Sussex County Council to do this. This includes asking for a comparative price from another contractor and looking at alternative design options which might enable us to reduce the overall cost, whilst still enabling a significant reduction in the risk of flooding.
Unfortunately, any construction work will be put on hold during this review, which we hope to complete by the end of August 2013.
We understand this will be frustrating and disappointing to you and to the wider community who have raised a significant amount of money to help fund the construction phase of this project. We will ensure that we keep you up-to-date with our progress.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Dickon Wells on 01903 832651 dickon.wells@environment-agency.gov.uk