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City flood defence plans revealed

PUBLISHED: 19:08 30 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:07 22 October 2010

Flood defences costing £1m are being proposed to protect the historic heart of Norwich, it has been revealed. The low lying area next to the River Wensum from Foundry Bridge on Prince of Wales Road, upstream to Whitefriars Bridge near to the Norwich Law Courts, is covered by the Environment Agency scheme.

Flood defences costing £1m are being proposed to protect the historic heart of Norwich, it has been revealed.

The low lying area next to the River Wensum from Foundry Bridge on Prince of Wales Road, upstream to Whitefriars Bridge near to the Norwich Law Courts, is covered by the Environment Agency scheme.

Agency staff, who held a public exhibition on Friday at the city's Red Lion pub at Bishop's Bridge, believe the improved defences will help protect homes in Recorder Road, Bishopgate, Cotman Fields and the Great Hospital.

Environmental scientist James Manners, from Halcrow consultants in Norwich which is working with the agency on the scheme, said: “We have conducted tests using a hydraulic model which show that work carried out will not cause problems elsewhere.

“About half of the work will simply be repointing and waterproofing the walls that are already there, so there will be little visual change because it is in a sensitive area.”

The remaining work will be new or heightened brick-clad flood walls, topped with railings to maintain the character of the area.

Some sections will be improved by raising the height of the riverside footpath a small amount while others will have moveable flood boards installed.

As part of the project, the agency is also considering a range of other enhancements including improved access for anglers, additional native tree planting, installation of bat boxes within Cow Tower and additional native tree planting.

A schools art project, such as brick carving, could also be included in the new flood walls.

Norwich suffered significant flooding from the River Wensum in August 1912 when six inches of rain fell in 12 hours.

Boats had to be used to ferry people and food along the water-logged roads but recent studies have shown this was an extremely rare event caused by intense rainfall further upstream.

Research carried out on behalf of the agency shows that some parts of Norwich, including those covered by the current proposals, could be vulnerable to more frequent floods.

The work, which has to go before the city council for planning permission, could start in the winter this year or next.

It is estimated to take between three and four months to complete and will be done in stages.

t Anyone who would like to talk about the proposals should call Angela Row on 01603 226161.


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