By Chris Bishop
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Gates which help to protect 3,500 homes from flooding are set for a £2.8m revamp.
The money, which comes from a £120m government funding pot announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement, will be used to refurbish the gates along the Fisher Fleet, in Kings Lynn.
Existing flood defences along the creek, which connects to the tidal Great Ouse, include a combination of flood walls and 68 flood gates which offer protection from flooding to a level of 6.3m. Every defence can be closed by the Environment Agency within an hour in the event of high tides and the risk of potential flooding, such as a North Sea storm surge running inland up the Ouse.
Officials say the planned refurbishment is required if Lynn is to remain protected over the next 50 years, when sea levels are expected to rie and extreme weather events become more common. They hope the work will start in March 2014 and be finished by February 2015.
Environment Agency flood risk manager Graham Verrier said: “Over the last few years we have been working really closely with partners for an affordable solution to the flood risk in King’s Lynn.
“We are delighted this important project can now progress and will be talking to partners about future maintenance and any future phases.”
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said: “I am very pleased indeed that this vital infrastructure work is now in progress.
“I also think that it is very significant that this announcement comes on the 60th anniversary of the really quite catastrophic 1953 floods – a huge amount of work has been done since then to prevent a reoccurrence, but this set of proposals will just complete the picture.”
Flood defence schemes announced yesterday include a £28.6m strenghtening of defences protecting more than 4,000 homes in Great Yarmouth.
More than 660m of flood wall will be replaced in Cobholm and Southtown and other flood defences will be repaired. It is hoped work will start in April this year with completion in December 2015. More than 3,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Great Yarmouth in the 2007 surge tide which came close to overtopping the flood defences.