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Secretary of State Michael Gove, has announced that plans for a flood defence scheme in Lincolnshire have been approved. The approval signals the go ahead for the £100M scheme developed by the Environment Agency.
The ‘Boston Barrier’ will provide better flood protection for some 14,000 properties in Lincolnshire at danger of tidal flooding. The Barrier will be based on the River Witham, where a moveable gate will help control flow through a new control building, while new flood defence will be created on both banks, and a replacement gate will be brought to the entrance of the existing Port of Boston wet dock. The £100M scheme will make Boston one of the best protected areas from flooding outside of London.
Proposals for the new defences came about from Boston’s long history of tidal flooding. Most recently in 2013, defences were breached by tidal surges and more than 800 properties were flooded across 55 streets.
The green light was given by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Michael Gove, and HM Treasury, with the Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to grant powers to construct and operate the barrier approved, and work is set to begin in January.
The Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Not only is this fantastic news for the 14,000 home and business owners who will be better protected from flooding – Boston’s new state of the art defences will help attract investment, benefitting the wider area.
“This is just one of many flood schemes being built in Lincolnshire and we are investing £229M over six years to better protect communities across the county.”
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “The Boston Barrier scheme is an inspiring example of collaborative work between the Environment Agency, councils, businesses and the local community.
“I am pleased that it will help to protect more than 14,000 homes and businesses from the kind of flooding the town experienced in December 2013. I look forward to the finished scheme.”
Following approval for the scheme’s full business case from HM Treasury last week, the contract for the project has been awarded to Bam Nuttall and Mott MacDonald joint venture (BMMJV).
BMMJV Framework Director Allan Rogers said: “We are looking forward to delivering this innovative flood protection scheme.
“We have a proven track record of success having recently completed phase one of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.”
The ‘Boston Barrier’ scheme is just one of many flood defence improvement schemes underway across the country. The Environment Agency is investing in some £2.5Bn at 1,500 flood defences, helping to reduce risk to 300,000 homes by 2021.
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