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Work on flood defences in village to begin next year

An unsually high tide and the low atmospheric pressure of a storm caused flooding along the Northumberland coast, including here at Warkworth.

An unsually high tide and the low atmospheric pressure of a storm caused flooding along the Northumberland coast, including here at Warkworth.

Work on a village’s flood-alleviation scheme, which has been delayed by ‘red tape and bureaucracy’, is due to start at the beginning of next year, the Gazette has been told.

Coun Jeff Watson, county and parish councillor for Warkworth, said that he hopes the project, at The Butts, will be completed by the end of April.

But he spoke of his frustration over the length of time it has taken for it to come to fruition – especially as the village was affected by rising waters last week.

The Environment Agency received reports of three homes flooding in the area and carried out sandbagging to minimise the impact.

Coun Watson said: “Planning permission has been obtained for the flood-defence wall and work is due to start in early 2014.

“It should be finished by the end of this financial year.

“We have been talking about this for months and months and months and it is regrettable that it has taken so long to come to fruition.

“Red tape and bureaucracy certainly seem to have slowed down this application.”

The flood-alleviation scheme will consist of a metre-high, stone-finished wall which will run along the grass on the edge of The Butts and link up with the car park of the United Reformed Church.

It received £100,000 through Defra’s Flood Defence Grant in Aid scheme, while the remaining £300,000 was met through local levy funding.

The scheme will see 25 homes moved from a very significant or significant flood-risk category to moderate or low-risk. Another 25 homes would become part of a lower probability flood area.

Parts of Warkworth have flooded in recent years, including in 2008.

 

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