Environment Agency to review where next set of flood defence works should take place in Great Yarmouth

The EA has recently finished the £28 million phase of work to replace over 500 metres of tidal defen

The EA has recently finished the £28 million phase of work to replace over 500 metres of tidal defences, which reduces the risk of flooding to the Southtown and Cobham areas of Great Yarmouth. Photo: Environment Agency - Credit: Archant

As the first multi-million phase of flood defence works comes to an end, all eyes are now on which area will be protected next.

The recent £28m works reduced the risk of flooding in the Southtown and Cobholm areas of Great Yarmouth, and saw replacement of the steel quay piles.

The final part of the scheme involved Bryant's Wharf, off South Quay, opposite Friar's Lane where innovative repairs were carried out to the steel piles, rather than replacing them.

It was the first time this process was carried out in Great Yarmouth.

Now the Environment Agency will begin the next phase of works and assess which area is in the greatest need.

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As part of a scheme promoted in 2011 the second phase of the scheme was set to be the riverside at Runham, Tar Works Road and Bollard Quay.

However the EA will look at a fresh business case for the works and factor in events including the 2013 storm surge to see if these are still the priority areas.

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Project manager Peter Doktor at the EA told the Great Yarmouth Area Committee on Tuesday night that securing that funding would be a challenge.

'We will have to go back to the business case from 2011 and reconfirm these recommendations and will be going back and looking at the condition of the defences to reconfirm where the priority areas are.'

The works at Runham would cost in the region of £76m and funding from external agencies and businesses would need to be sought.

The works go right up until 2061 and the EA intends to refurbish the tidal defences in five-year phases over the coming decades.

Future phases of work will need external funding contributions.

The overall scheme includes 12km of flood defences in Great Yarmouth that reduce the risk of tidal flooding from the River Yare to over 6,000 properties, including 5,000 homes.

Senior advisor at the Environment Agency (EA) Will Todd also spoke about the storm surge on January 14.

'Because of slight changes to the weather system meant the surge was less than it could have been and the storm surge peaked before the astronomical high tide.'

He also said that two thirds of people in Great Yarmouth were signed up to the EA's flood warning system.

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