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Views sought on next phase of flood risk work in Leicester

Published on Monday, August 21, 2017

PEOPLE are being asked for their views on a new strategy that aims to reduce future flood risk for thousands of homes in Leicester.

The Environment Agency and Leicester City Council have developed a new flood risk action plan that has today (21 August) been launched for public consultation.

The new strategy has been developed following detailed computer modelling, and proposes flood risk measures that will also create new habitats for wildlife and improve public access and enjoyment of the city’s riverside.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This new strategy represents the next phase of ambitious plans to tackle flood risk in the city and offer greater protection to thousands of homes.

“The city council is working very closely with the Environment Agency to ensure that recent flood defence work makes the most of the natural asset of the city’s riverside. This ambitious approach is reflected in the new draft strategy and I would urge people to let us have their views and ideas on the proposals.”

Paul Lockhart, Environment Agency flood risk manager for the East Midlands, said: “A number of areas in the city are vulnerable to flooding following heavy downpours or prolonged periods of rains. The large tributaries to the River Soar flow quickly from the higher ground on the outskirts of the city through densely populated areas towards the wide River Soar valley.

“This new draft action plan proposes a significant number of measures that could be taken along these brooks and streams which would help reduce the risk of future flooding to thousands of homes and properties, while improving even more of the city’s riverside environment for people and wildlife.”

The new strategy will build on major flood conveyance work already completed along the River Soar and extend this to include other key watercourses that flow into the river. These have been focussed on three key areas – Braunstone Brook, Saffron Brook and Willow Brook.

The consultation on the new flood risk action plan for Leicester is available online at www.leicester.gov.uk/consultations

Closing date for comments is 12 November 2017.

If given the go-ahead, work could begin on the first of the proposed projects as early as 2019.

The Environment Agency has already completed a number of flood risk management projects across Leicester as part of its six-year programme, backed by £33million of Government funding.

These include the creation of Ellis Meadows – an award-winning 20-acre park and nature reserve – and improvements to the Co-op sports pitches on land between Birstall Road and the River Soar, north of Watermead Way. Both areas now act as natural defences capable of holding water in the event of a flood and keeping it away from around 1,500 nearby properties.

Work is currently underway to install a major flood relief culvert beneath Loughborough Road Bridge. This will help reduce flood risk for 600 properties in the Belgrave area.

The joint approach by the Environment Agency and Leicester City Council has been recognised by the Government as an example of best practice in natural flood defences.