Almost £5m secured to help protect Southwell from flood risk
A major scheme worth almost £5m has been given the go-ahead to help protect residents and businesses from the devastating effects of flooding.
The news comes after Nottinghamshire County Council led two partnership bids to help push forward plans to transform the town’s flood defences. Final sign-off for the national funding, from DEFRA, is expected shortly.
The local community is being praised for playing a key part in the bid after sharing their insight and feedback on how to improve flood protection.
The main bid worth £4.6m will involve engineering work to construct new flood defences across the town. Extensive flood modelling work has been carried out following the many flooding events in the town to develop a range of measures to help safeguard the community.
Nottinghamshire Council County is investing £600k to support the works, Newark and Sherwood District Council £220,000, Southwell Flood Fund £233,00 and Southwell Town Council £120,000. Work on the engineering solutions is expected to begin in the spring once a contractor has been appointed, although some minor protection works and further surveys are planned ahead of this date. Locals will be kept updated on the scheme plans as part of a series of drop-in sessions, which are due to start in February.
This work will be backed with a further £350k following a bid for Natural Flood Management funding. Nottinghamshire County Council worked closely with the National Flood Forum and Trent Rivers Trust on this bid which is being match funded by FRAMES, a European funding body bringing the total funding for the scheme to £5.2m.
Natural flood management is where features such as ponds and trees are utilised to help store, absorb or slow down flood water.
Nottinghamshire County Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of Communities and Place Committee, welcomed the news. He said: “We know flooding devastates lives and we hope that this funding will bring extra protection for up to 300 homes in Southwell, helping hundreds of residents and businesses in the area. This will be very welcome news for local people, particularly those who suffered the effects of the heavy floods of Summer 2013.”
“Securing approval for this scheme has been a real partnership effort and I’m delighted that local residents have played a major part in getting us to this stage by sharing their knowledge, insight and ideas.”
“While it is still early days for both elements of this complex scheme – both the engineering-based solution and natural flood management work – this long-awaited funding marks a huge milestone in making these plans a reality.”
Councillor Roger Blaney, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We very much welcome this news which follows four years of hard work by all the partners involved, including valued input from the local community. It demonstrates the effectiveness and importance of partnership working, in which the district council has played a key role, in securing national funding to deliver much-needed flood defence measures for our residents and businesses in Southwell.”
Tim Farr, Chair of the Southwell Flood Forum, said: “This news now opens the door for things to happen on the ground and for the Forum to continue to represent local interests by working closely with the County Council as the scheme develops.”
Andy Gregory, Chairman of Southwell Town Council, said: “As well as the work done in the local community and by the Flood Forum, there has also been a great deal of other work done by many agencies to reach this stage for which we are very grateful. This latest work will help ensure that those affected in the flooding of 2007 and 2013 are, at last, given peace of mind for the future.”
Other key partners in this process were the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water
The scheme will form an integral part of the County Council’s Southwell Alleviation Scheme as well as Nottinghamshire’s long-term flood risk plan.