Vital £13m flood defence work is now underway

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 14 Aug 2018

Bosses in charge of a new multi-million pound floof defence scheme say it will ensure there is not a repeat of damage caused by previous incidents.

Work has now started on the major project to protect villages on both sides of the River Trent and pave the way for significant future development.

The £13.3 million scheme will see 2.2 miles of sheet piles installed along the east bank of the river between Keadby Bridge and the M180 crossing.

The extensive flood defence will provide significant protection to the villages of Burringham, Gunness and East Butterwick.

It will also provide protection for six new villages which are set to be created in the Lincolnshire Lakes project, earmarked for land between Scunthorpe and the river.

Flood defences on the west bank of the river will also be infilled where there are low spots to bring them back to design levels and protect places across the Isle of Axholme.

The first phase of the project will see work starting between Station Road, Burringham and St John the Baptist's Church to the south of the village.

VBA joint venture Volkerstevin has been awarded the contract to carry out the work along the banks of the river, while Mott Macdonald was the detailed designers behind the flood defences.

A sod cutting ceremony took place today to mark the start of the work, with North Lincolnshire Council leader, Councillor Rob Waltham, Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy, Carl Wharmby, asset performance team leader at Environment Agency, VBA site manager, Will Davies, and contracts manager, Julian Wilson, and Lee Geddes, project manager for Mott MacDonald, in attendance.

Mr Percy said: "This is very reassuring for residents. It is £13m of Government funding. We will raise the banks to the level that should make people safe. It is much needed as we saw in the 2013 tidal surge.

"I am pleased everyone has worked so hard to make this project a reality."

Mr Wilson said: "I will come here once a week or once every two weeks to make sure the quality is maintained and we keep to programme and we keep all the local residents informed.

"The people we have talked with are positive. The defences are not high enough for a one in 100 year flood event. They have settled over the year."

Mr Geddes said it is an "enhancement" so the "breach scenario" cannot happen again.

Mr Wharmby added that it w as a "relatively new principle in the way it has been set up".

"The collaborative agreement between North Lincolnshire Council and the Environment Agency is quite groundbreaking. It goes a little bit against what traditionally would have happened. This is an opportune moment we have to take," he said.

Cllr Waltham said: "Thanks to Government funding, this extensive flood defence scheme will not only protect our existing communities of Burringham, it will pave the way for future development and provide protection for the six new Trentside villages as part of Lincolnshire Lakes.

"We are keeping our promise to deliver flood defences before we can see houses, business and new communities taking shape.

"Thanks to these new flood defences we can give residents, both current and future, peace of mind that their homes and communities are protected."

Funding for the scheme, which is expected to be complete by summer 2019, has come from the Government's Northern Powerhouse Local Growth Fund and was secured by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as part of its Growth Deals.

Lord Haskins, chairman of the LEP, said: "The LEP is pleased to be supporting this project which will make sure that existing communities and areas of land identified for new development are flood resilient, sustainable and adaptable for the future.

"The flood defence works are an integral part of the exciting Lincolnshire Lakes development which will bring forward many new homes and amenities as part of this area-wide regeneration scheme."

The proposed Lincolnshire Lakes project would see more than 6,000 homes built in six new villages to be created in waterside settings.

It is also set to include various business and leisure facilities and a school, as well as a new junction on the M181 motorway near Scunthorpe.

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