Tyne Green flood defence scheme underway

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Work has begun at a flood defence scheme in Northumberland, designed to protect homes in Hexham.

The Environment Agency began work on the £65,000 scheme this week, which will see the creation of a new flood bank for the Northumberland town. The work follows serious flooding in December 2015, when Storm Desmond precipitated the flooding of 15 properties when water from the River Tyne flowed through an underpass beneath the Newcastle-Carlisle railway line near to Tyne Green Golf Course.

This project is unusual as it has been funded solely by the residents who have pooled individual grants made available to them following flooding over the winter period of 2015/16.

The Environment Agency prioritises delivery of new and improved flood defences using government funding over a rolling six year programme, with a focus on schemes which provide the greatest benefits to protect properties from flooding. With the number of properties affected by the flooding in Tyne Green being relatively small, the Environment Agency was unable to fund the flood defences for the area.

Tyne Green residents have worked closely with the Environment Agency, Northumberland County Council, Northumbrian Water and Network Rail to provide a creative solution. A new flood embankment will help steer flood waters away from the houses in a similar flood event created by Storm Desmond.

Construction, by Breheny Civil Engineering, will take approximately three weeks.

Chris Hood, Project Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “The start of this work marks the final step in what has been a long and difficult journey for local residents. I would like to thank them for their support and continued patience while we have worked together with Network Rail and others to find the best and most cost-effective solution at Tyne Green.

“They have used their initiative and all worked together to pool their grants which has allowed us to be able to build this flood bank. We hope this protection afforded by the new defence will now provide local residents with peace of mind when bad weather threatens in the future.”

Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member for Environment and Local Services, said: “It shows what a big impact Storm Desmond had on our county when improvement schemes are still ongoing more than two years after the event.

“This is another fine example of agencies working with local communities to find innovative solutions to improve their areas and prevent flooding events damaging their homes in the future.”

County Councillor for Hexham Central with Acomb Trevor Cessford added: “This is great news for local residents and should hopefully provide peace of mind and security for the future. I would also like to say a huge thanks to all the residents for their patience and understanding in this drawn out matter and for the selfless financial contributions they themselves have made towards the project.”

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