Work set for flood defences and to protect green space

Jeff Watson at The Stanners in Warkworth.
Jeff Watson at The Stanners in Warkworth.

Important work to alleviate flooding and protect a leisure space in a north Northumberland village is set to take place.

A new metre-high wall will be built to safeguard 35 homes at The Butts area of Warkworth from rising waters, while ground reinforcement mats are being installed at The Stanners.

Parish and county councillor Jeff Watson has described the projects as positive steps for the village.

The Environment Agency scheme at The Butts will cost close to £400,000 and will be paid for by local levy and Government Grant in Aid money.

Preparatory work began last month in advance of the construction of the flood wall.

The project will see the ground raised at the United Reform Church car park, with a new gate at The Meadows and raised ground between the Old School House properties.

There will also be two new flood gates to allow vehicular access for grass cutting on the riverbank, and a ramp to allow wheelchair-friendly pedestrian access to the grassland.

The existing benches will be removed during the work, but reinstated on completion.

The existing car park will remain. Some trees have been removed, but will be replanted elsewhere in conjunction with Warkworth Parish Council.

Terry Robson, from the Environment Agency, said he hopes construction will start next week, adding: “Currently there are no formal flood defences in Warkworth, so these works will provide valuable protection against major rainfall and tidal flooding events.”

The project is due to take around 16 weeks to complete.

Work has started to put in the ground mats at The Stanners, to protect the grass in the area, which is used for picnicking and car park in the summer. If the grass doesn’t grow before the summer, the area will be reseeded in the autumn.

Coun Watson has put £6,500 towards it from his members’ small schemes pot. The parish council has contributed.

He said: “This will help to retain the green appearance.”