Anti-flood plans revealed - at last

A £5m flood alleviation scheme was outlined to Haydon Wick residents yesterday.

The area, which has been flooded three times in 10 years, including devastating floods in 2007 which left more than 50 families homeless, will have the scheme installed by Christmas.

Last year, the Environment Agency announced plans for a flood alleviation scheme 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.

Yesterday they held a public consultation in the parish offices to inform residents of the project which will start in the spring.

Technical specialist for flood risk management David McKnight said: “This is much needed – 120 residential properties are going to benefit from this and the area has flooded three times in 10 years.

“People say it is long overdue and they are going to be very supportive of this scheme going on. It is a big £5m construction project and for the whole Thames area, this is the biggest one.”

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

They will be made by driving steel piles into the ground and a concrete or brick wall will be built on top, but landscape architects have ensured the design will blend into the local area.

“The scheme should be finished around Christmas 2012, but we have got to do an extensive amount of planting after – we have taken out shrubs and trees to enable us to carry out the work, and we will be putting these back, as well as the garden fences we will need to take down, these will all be replaced,” said Mr McKnight.

“We want to give people back their green environment and this work will continue for a period after we finish the construction work and we will continue to visit the site to maintain this.”

Some footpaths and public areas will be closed and diversions will be put in place.

Environmental monitoring will be carried out to ensure the impact to residents is kept to a minimum and all footpaths will be rebuilt and reopened when the flood defences are completed.

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