AN eagerly-awaited flood alleviation scheme in Haydon Wick is progressing and measures are being taken to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum for residents.

The £5million scheme has been five years in the making after the area was hit by devastating floods in 2007 which left more than 50 families homeless.

Last year, the Environment Agency (EA) originally announced the plans, but they were put on hold when the cost of the proposals continued to rise and the EA was forced to ask Swindon Council for an additional £100,000.

In recent weeks, the work, which is expected to be finished by next spring, has become increasingly close to residents’ properties, but those involved in the project have been taking steps to ensure disruption is minimal.

Damon Green, environmental enforcement team leader at Swindon Council, said: “We are now well into the projected duration of the project, and I am aware that a small number of residents have passed on concerns, or requested information from the project team at the Environment Agency; especially recently as the project has come into extremely close contact with residents’ homes and gardens.

“The contractors have been forced by difficult ground conditions to apply to remove more trees, and to use slightly larger piling machines to overcome the conditions.

“This application is being considered by the planning team as we speak. The use of larger machinery, where possible, can very often lead to reduced disturbance due to not having to push the machinery to its design limits, and due to the resulting shorter ‘driving time’ for each pile.”

Mr Green and a colleague carried out an unannounced visit to the site last week to carry out a spot check of the noise levels.

He said: “I was pleased to find that the works, in a very tight space in Clary Road, were being carried out with all possible consideration for residents.

“The results of my noise monitoring suggest that, if anything, the works are a little quieter than when I monitored previously.”

The construction involves a new flood wall beng built either side of the Haydon Brook through the housing estate, which will also extend along two of the tributaries – the Haydonleigh Drive Drain and Haydon Wick Ditch.

Coun David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) said: “I haven’t had any complaints about noise, and other than one or two little problems, they haven’t had any problems and everything is on schedule as far as I’m aware which is great. The heavy works should be finished by spring and from then t the work will be more aesthetically based, making the area look attractive.”