Innovative flood defence work in Yarmouth could be copied across country

Environment Agenecy CEO Sir James Bevan by a full scale model of the Yarmouth tidal defence project

Environment Agenecy CEO Sir James Bevan by a full scale model of the Yarmouth tidal defence project. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The Environment Agency chief has praised the work done to help protect Great Yarmouth from floods.

More than 2,000 homes and businesses in the town are better protected from the risk of flooding after the £28m first phase of a major flood defence project was completed last month.

Sir James Bevan yesterday visited the Bryant's Wharf site on South Quay to see a demonstration of the Limpet Dam technology which is responsible for phase two of the project.

Mr Bevan said: 'It is exciting to see the work being done in Great Yarmouth.

'The town has gone through some tough times, but with projects like this you can see it is on the up.

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'The Limpet Dam technology has been used abroad but this is the first time it has been used in England.

'So it could set the trend for the rest of the country and the main positive going forward is that it would be a much cheaper method.'

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The Limpet Dam is a temporary structure that allows engineers to inspect and repair the river wall in a dry environment that would otherwise be underwater.

Graham Verrier, area, flood coast and risk manager of the EA said that the method was 70pc cheaper than the original methods where people would have to go underwater.

The Environment Agency intends to refurbish the tidal defences in five year phases over the coming 50 years.

The second phase is expected to last until 2021 and will provide protection to around 1,400 homes and 700 businesses.

If suitable, this more affordable approach may also mean there is a potential to bring forward the works planned for beyond 2021, to protect more people and property sooner.

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