Protecting Newbury From Flooding

24 June 2011, 05:00

The Environment Agency wants you to let them know what you think of plans to protect parts of Newbury from flooding.

They'll will be holding a drop-in session today (Friday 24 June) at the West Berkshire Council Chambers from 2-8pm so you can see what they've been working on for the past year.

Flood defences are being considered for Newbury as it has been identified as being at high risk from river flooding.

The town experienced major flooding in 1947 and in 1960, with Newbury town centre and residential areas to the south badly affected. Flooding has recently occurred on a smaller scale, with the floods of 2000 and 2003 highlighting the vulnerability of the town.

A variety of defences were investigated that would fit into the locality and townscape – such as embankments, walls and ground level raising.

Parts of Newbury which will benefit from these defences include the Town Centre, residential areas around Russell Road, Northcroft Park, Northcroft Lane and Victoria Park.  Business premises around Ampere Road and London Road will also benefit from the Scheme.  

Ian Tomes, area flood risk manager for the Environment Agency, said:

“We had excellent feedback from local people since our last public consultation last year, which helped shape our current options for reducing flood risk in Newbury.

“The drop-in session is an excellent opportunity for people to see the plans in more detail, discuss concerns with our technical experts, learn how to protect your own home from flooding, and to basically tell us what you think about the Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme”.

Heart's been told the scheme could benefit more than 400 homes and businesses in the Newbury area.

 Ian Tomes added:

“We aim to ensure that Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme not only avoids any negative impact on the natural environment - it should also enhance it where possible and preserve the character of the town”.  

After today, the Environment Agency will work on securing funding for the scheme.

What are the proposed defences and where are they located in Newbury?

Location 1- Russell Road Towpath: Low section towpath-raising.

Location 2 - Northcroft Park: Low flood embankment along the eastern boundary, improved drainage and environmental habitat improvements - a wetland meadow and tree-planting. Road- and car park-raising, pumping facilities in Northcroft Lane car park.

Location 3 - Bewicks Reach: Low embankment.

Location 4 - Swan Court and Northcroft Lane: Low walls on existing boundary alignments and car park-raising tying into local property protection. Reinforced and raised river walls along Northcroft Lane.

Location 5 - Victoria Park: Low wall along the rear of the canal towpath and raised access points.

Location 6 - Ampere Road Greenham Marina/Calor Gas sites: Low road-raising and new wall with drainage improvements.

Location 7 - London Road (adjacent to the River Kennet): Low towpath-raising/embankment.