Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Nottingham

£26 million flood scheme to protect 200 Nottinghamshire households

Almost 200 households in Nottinghamshire will get ‘peace of mind’ after work started on a multi-million-pound scheme to protect residents from flooding.

On 6 October, a ground-breaking ceremony marked the official start of work on the £26m Lowdham Cocker Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme.

The development site covers 21.8 hectares of land on Hunters Hill Farm, Lambley Road.

The Cocker Beck, which flows into the River Trent, is known as the main cause of flooding in Lowdham on “six notable occasions within recent history” from 1999 to 2020.

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When built, the reservoir will hold up to 100,000 cubic metres of water upstream so it does not reach the village. When the rain has stopped, the water will be gradually released.

•  New reservoir in £26 million plans to protect Lowdham from flooding

The funding is from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency, the regional flood and coastal committee, local councils and the Department for Education.

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The scheme is expected to be completed in the winter of 2025.

Robert Jenrick, MP for Newark, said he was “over the moon” the plans were underway, but admitted the plans have taken too long to come to fruition.

He said: “This is something we’ve been working towards for as long as I’ve been an MP, more than 10 years.

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Robert Jenrick MP

“Above all, it means peace of mind for at least 200 households, some of whom have been flooded five times.

“Those people can go to bed at night safe in the knowledge that it’s unlikely they will be flooded.

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“There is very little in life that is worse than being flooded, it’s a horrible experience.

“It has taken too long, but it was a very expensive project for a small village. It was a major investment.

“We need to be on our guard because climate change will bring more floods and more unpredictable weather patterns in the decades to come.”

Paul Lockhart, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the East Midlands, said he has been involved in the plans since 2007.

He said: “We’ve been trying to find a solution for 16 years, an awful long time.

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Paul Lockhart, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the East Midlands

“This is costing significant amounts of money so it takes a while to get that together.

“This was on my wishlist for my career. I’m absolutely thrilled for the members of the community.

“Flooding is devastating. The climate is really changing and flooding is becoming more frequent. As communities, we need to be prepared for that.”

Peter Cross, Chair of the Lowdham Flood Action Group, said the group formed in 2020.

The group pairs up volunteers with those who are vulnerable to flooding.
He said: “We’ve got people in the group who have been flooded six or seven times and have had to stay out of their homes for a year.
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Peter Cross, Chair of the Lowdham Flood Action Group.
“It would have been nice if it had been fixed 10 years ago, but I think the Environment Agency has done a good job with this scheme.
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“People are delighted about this. Every time it rains, there are people who wonder if they will be flooded.
“We’ve just got to hang on in there for the next two years before it’s operational.”

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