Latest pictures of the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences & last week’s dramatic RNLI Rescue

Some pictures of the ongoing construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences.

I took these pictures end of January/first week of February, 2014.

Construction of Littlehampton's sea defences 3The piles are lifted in place using one of two cranes, which are currently in operation in Arun Parade, Littlehampton.

Piling gateThe piles are loaded into a ‘piling gate’ which has been especially designed and constructed for the project. (Picture courtesy of Eric Smethurst  – VolkerStevin)

Construction of Littlehampton's sea defencesEach piles is marked out in metres markers – I believe each pile is 22 metres long.

Construction of Littlehampton's sea defences 4Each pile is then driven into the riverbed by a combination of vibrating it down and then finally banging it into place. The noise you can hear regularly in Littlehampton is the piles being driven into their final positions by the above machine.

Sea Defence construction Arun Parade 8Pile being driven home.

Sea Defence construction Arun Parade 9This picture gives a better view of the piling gate, which also creates a working platform.

Sea defences in Arun Parade LittlehamptonThis is what they look like when they’re all finally in place. The above is a picture of how Arun Parade is looking like now. Some observers has expressed concern that the new sea defences don’t go high enough. When I catch up with Eric next, I’ll ask him for an answer from an engineering perspective. Appearances can be deceptive.

Construction of Littlehampton's sea defences 6This is how Littlehampton’s Arun Parade is shaping up now.

LittlehamptonWorking on the junction of Arun Parade and Pier Road

Construction of Littlehampton Sea Defences 7The piles all in place along the Southern end of Arun Parade.

Sea Defence construction Arun Parade 11Piling at Arun Parade.

Piling works at Arun ParadePiles being driven in at Arun Parade (Littlehampton seafront’s iconic light house in the right of the picture)

littlehampton sea defence construction craneClearly the road surface of Pier Road is not able to take the weight of the crane, which is of particular concern to us here in Pier Road. The vibrations from the piling far exceed what most of us expected. There’s also understandable concern for the integrity of our buildings during these works. Many of Pier Road business owners live above their businesses.

Entrance to Littlehampton harbourTide flowing into Littlehampton harbour. A confused and dangerous sea. This picture was taken just a short time before a lady was swept out to sea. Despite being rescued by Littlehampton RNLI, she passed away later in hospital.

Coastguard helicopterThe Coastguard helicopter flying over Littlehampton Harbour assisting with the rescue.

Air AmbulanceAir Ambulance also attended.

Air Ambulance 2Air Ambulance leaving Littlehampton.

cropped-dscf0234.jpgLittlehampton’s RNLI rescued the lady from the sea, quite literally a few minutes after she first went in. (above is a picture of them on a previous emergency call out). We’re very fortunate here in Littlehampton to have such a dedicated, hardworking local volunteer crew who go out in all weathers and sea conditions.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who passed away.

6 thoughts on “Latest pictures of the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences & last week’s dramatic RNLI Rescue

  1. I hope all of you are okay down there in this weather I’m thinking of you and hoping soon to be able to come down I’m somewhat time limited and condition at times seems to have mind of its own on a good day there is nothing I like better than to visit and I know each and every one of you work extremely hard and can only hope for all your businesses will always be a part of our community

  2. I think that the piling has a capping top which raises the height by another metre, this then has barriers that you can see through allowing the people to still go crabbing. I wonder what size the crabs will be when people go back to fishing for them?. Also what have the little crabs been doing with all the noise and banging going on at the moment. Is anyone from the Environmental Agency mointoring the crabs and fish that are around here, let alone what the swans think of it all (Where is the RSPCC – Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Crabs?)


    Is it true that the works will now not be finished till the Autumn? I thought there was information published recently that everything was OK for the start of the Summer hols?

    If this delay is real, then we locals need to make a conscious effort to use all of the businesses down Pier Road ONCE MORE EACH WEEK than we normally do. No hardship surely?…..the best fish and chips in Sussex, two genuine seaside shops, bikes, a real fish shop on the Riverside the best flavoured curries at Rajdoot, teashops supreme… come on everyone….flex those Mussels, and give the ONCE MORE EACH WEEK THAN I NORMALLY DO idea a Thai. Those friends or rellies who were always meaning to come down and see you? This is the year they need to come.

    • Sadly, the latest announcement from the Environment Agency is we’re now looking at end Autumn 2014 for the completion of the sea defence works. What’s not clear at this time is whether or not this new date includes completion of the ‘public realm enhancement works’. These works are needed to soften the sea defence wall and will include the creation of the public walkway, seating areas etc. Neither is it clear if Autumn finish date includes the rebuilding of Pier Road and Arun Parade’s new road surfaces.

      So we could potentially be looking at well beyond this period.

      Personally, having been part of the consultation process since 2010, I have learnt not to rely on any information given as to timescales as thus far, all have proven unreliable.

      This project should have actually began in Autumn 2012 and has been already delayed by a year.

      The information published recently regarding their being no delays – was information given by Councillor Paul Dendle, Arun District Council’s Member for Sea Defences. Clearly this information was wholly inaccurate and I was surprised he published it. He’s recently announced (immediately following my update) that he’s only now become aware of the delays.

      I’m disappointed that such an important role as Flood Defence Cabinet Member has been given to someone who is so ill-advised and out of touch with what’s actually going on in Littlehampton.

      Thank you so much for your call to action regarding supporting our businesses.

      This really is so important.

      Pier Road is a unique and special place and is the engine which drives visitors to Littlehampton year after year.

      As you rightly highlight, we really do need our loyal customers to continue to support the many wonderful unique businesses that exist in Pier Road.

      So many of our regular customers have already been driven away by problems with accessing their favourite restaurants, impolite and aggressive Arun District Council traffic wardens, unsuitable alternative parking arrangements and confusing and conflicting signage.

      Thanks for your support!

  4. As councillor dendle has written in the newspaper about a rainy day fund I have asked the question does he hold any qualifications in engineering?Or is he like ourselves dependent on information given by outside agency’s and also this article refers to protection for years to come if a rainy day fund can be achieved and whilst I think many of us can agree all need to take responsibility can he predict just how much rainfall will beset us in the future if he can he’s a better man than I gunga din but another poster has raised the point we must all ensure businesses continue to be supported and it is this that is of paramount importance and just a suggestion could traders team up with windmill to offer discount dinning for those going to see a film this serving support for yourselves and windmill just a thought?

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