WORK to bolster Canvey’s flood defences and revamp the crumbling concrete revetment in a £75 million project are taking shape.

The island’s 3.2-kilometre tidal defence revetment along the southern shoreline is being replaced having degraded over the years.

With gaps beginning to appear between the crumbling concrete blocks – with sections of the current revetment dating back to the 1930s – the  Environment Agency began a massive project to beef up the sea defences.

The government agency begun the works to repair the revetment in January – the sloping structures placed on the sea banks designed to absorb the energy of incoming water.Echo: Canvey seawall revetment worksCanvey seawall revetment works (Image: Richard Windell)

New aerial photos taken in Thorney Bay show the project well underway, with the agency confident it remains on track to meet its summer 2025 completion date.

The £75 project is being fully funded by the Government.

Canvey Island South councillor Barry Campagna said: “Some residents weren’t too happy about all the noise, traffic and disruption involved, but at the end of the day this is something that just has to be done.

Echo: Canvey seawall revetment works - Richard WindellCanvey seawall revetment works - Richard Windell (Image: Richard Windell)

“The environment agency has been very good about making it all as non-disruptive as possible, and for those who visit the seafront, you can see they are making good progress already”.

To facilitate the project, the Chapman Sands Jetty will be removed – rebuilt as recently as 2015 following storm damage in 2012.

Echo: Canvey seawall revetment works Canvey seawall revetment works (Image: Richard Windell)

As well as refurbishing the existing tidal defences, additional enhancements will be made to the Canvey Island shoreline. These will include improved public access along the seaward walkway.

New steps to the beach and foreshore as well as project information boards will be installed. The surface of the pathway along the landward side of the seawall between Thorney Bay and Chapman Sands will also be improved.

Echo: Canvey seawall revetment works Canvey seawall revetment works (Image: Richard Windell)

James Mason, operations manager for the Environment Agency, said: “This project is essential to managing the risk of flooding for thousands of people, homes and businesses on Canvey.

“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in the UK. Which is why schemes such as this are needed.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Works at Canvey Island are progressing well with the construction of the site compounds now complete. Works will begin this week to place the new revetment at Thorney Bay, with the new revetment being placed at the eastern end of the Island by early summer 2023.

“Temporary footpath closures and diversions at Western Esplanade and Beveland Road have allowed us to widened the embankment allowing new access ramps at Fisherman’s Corner. We thank the local community and businesses for their patience and understanding while these works have been ongoing.

“The Environment Agency continues to work with the local community, with the next drop in session taking place at Canvey Island Football Club on the 25 May from 4-7pm.”