40,000 homes at risk of flooding in Rother

AH Rye flood 1
AH Rye flood 1

More than 40,000 households in Rother are at risk of flooding, with 2,800 of those considered to be at high or medium risk, according to new figures.

The proportion of homes at ‘high’ or ‘medium’ risk of flooding stands at 6.8 percent - double the England average of 3.4 percent.

Meanwhile the number of households at high risk in Rother stands at 1,060.

The figures were released by the Environment Agency this week, following a Freedom of Information Request to the organisation.

It follows last week’s National Audit Office report on Strategic Flood Risk Management, which criticised the Government’s cut in flood defence spending, reporting that it has left half of the county’s defences with minimal maintenance.

A spokesperson for Labour’s Southern Taskforce, which released the figures, said: “People living in particularly at risk areas of Southern and Eastern England know all too well cuts in flood defence spending are a false economy.

“If we don’t prepare for flooding now we’ll pay a heavier price tag later.

“Labour plan to re-prioritise flooding as a core responsibility of Defra – with a long term approach to flood investment and a focus on preventative spending, saving money in the long-term.”

But the Government refuted the claims made by the National Audit Office (NAO).

Flooding Minister Dan Rogerson said: “The NAO has drawn conclusions on funding based on inappropriate comparisons.

“We have invested £3.2 billion in flood management and defences over the course of this Parliament which is a real term increase and half a billion more than in the previous Parliament. This has allowed us to protect 165,000 families and households in vulnerable 

“Not only are we spending more than ever before, but we are also ensuring that our investment strategy will deliver long-term value for money.

“Next month, we will set out the first ever six year programme with record levels of investment, which will protect another 300,000 homes by the end of the decade.”

Flood defences were installed at Robertsbridge following the flooding of 2000.

A higher flood wall at Rye’s Strand Quay protected the town from serious flooding during a tidal surge last December. Rye Harbour was affected with areas of the nature reserve footpath washed away.

Southern Water recently overhauled pumps which protect the Tilling Green estate at Rye from flooding.