The Totland sea wall. The government is to help fund a coastal strategy for the West Wight. Picture courtesy of HM Coastguard.
MILLIONS of pounds have been pledged by the government to tackle flooding and coastal protection on the Isle of Wight.
New funding for flood and coastal protection schemes was announced by Eric Pickles MP, secretary of state for communities and local government, today (Thursday), in the wake of the recent extreme weather.
It includes £200,000 this year for Monktonmead Brook pumping station and outfall improvements, with a further £413,000 budgeted for the following year — helping to protect around 200 houses.
At Embankment Road, Bembridge, £400,000 has been budgeted for 2015/16, with further significant funds earmarked in future years including £3.15 million in 2018/19, for tidal flood defence work.
There is also £100,000 this year for the Isle of Wight Council to provide a coastal strategy for the West Wight.
Welcoming the announcement, Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner said: "The longstanding issues at Monktonmead cause problems for many Islanders in the Ryde area.
"It is imperative the right solution is identified quickly and, once it has been agreed, work to deal with the issue starts promptly.
"I also welcome the funding to look at the wider strategy for the coastline around the West Wight.
"Many people are concerned about the cliff fall at Totland, which has led to the closure of the coastal path, and the council has recently published a report into that specific problem.
"However, it is also important to look at the wider picture. The area is key to our tourist trade and I know many people will want to contribute to this debate."
Andrew Gilham, from the Environment Agency, said: "We have been working hard to identify options for reducing flood risk from the Monktonmead Brook.
"This funding will enable us to conclude this work and is an important step towards starting construction work on site in the future."