An £800,000 flood alleviation scheme which is set to transform the lives of Rayleigh residents hit by flooding is just a month from completion.
Essex County Council’s Flood and Water Management team recently had a boost after securing £305,000 in funding towards the scheme from the Environment Agency.
The works include the construction of a small earth dam, called an ‘attenuation bund’, on Sweyne Park School sports fields and works to increase the storage capacity of Sweyne Park pond, which had previously overflowed during periods of heavy rainfall. Ground investigations began in April and the scheme should be ready in November.
Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said: “When heavy rainfall hits the county we know it can be a very worrying time for those living in areas susceptible to flooding as the impacts of flood events can be potentially devastating.
“We identified high-risk areas such as Rayleigh and have invested money to help transform people’s lives and protect against the blight of flooding.
“The Flood Team’s success in securing Environment Agency funding is a great demonstration of their resourcefulness and effectiveness at protecting our residents while delivering value for money for our taxpayers.”
In times of heavy rainfall, the new scheme will allow water to be stored on the school field before slowly discharging through a series of land drains and into the existing surface water drainage system at a controlled rate. The pond works will help increase its storage capacity. These two measures will lower the flood risk in the areas to the West of Sweyne Park School which have previously suffered repeated flooding. In total the scheme will protect 55 residential properties.
Rochford District Council’s Head of the Flood Forum, Cllr Mike Steptoe, said: “This extra funding for Rayleigh will ensure that residents benefit from added flood protection and re-assurance over and above the improvements that Rochford District Council has already managed to achieve.”