£10m work to stop flooding in Norwich will be complete within three years

Flooding in Beatrice Road, Norwich.

Flooding in Beatrice Road, Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Flood-hit communities in and around Norwich have been told that work to upgrade the outdated drains which contributed to the problem will start this year - and be completed by 2018.

More than 100 properties were left under water last summer, as flash floods hit communities in Norwich, Thorpe St Andrew and Costessey.

Norfolk County Council officers explained that this was - in part - due to an ageing drainage network that was nearing the end of its useful life.

Government data shows 6,500 properties in Greater Norwich are currently at risk of flooding, and the local authority lodged a bid with the Department for Transport upgrade the drainage system.

The government last month released £9,1m to the authority to carry out the work over three years. The county council will pay £1.2m into the scheme, taking the total to over £10m.

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And council bosses confirmed work has started to form a specialist team to decide where the money will be spent, with a promise that work will start in this financial year and be complete within three years.

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: 'We were successful in receiving £9.1m from the Department for Transport which is available over a three-year period.

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'Work has begun to form a specialist team to design and plan the works so the actual drainage work can start in the 2015/16 financial year with completion by April 1 2018.'

She said it was too early to say which locations would be the first to benefit from upgrade work to drains.

The £10m flood protection bid to government was heavily informed by Norfolk County Council's flood investigation report, which was published in January.

In that report, the reasons why 80 properties flooded between May and October last year were explored, and solutions were considered.

An estimated £2m worth of damage was caused to businesses, schools and homes in Old Catton, New Sprowston, Mousehold Heath, Sprowston, Hellesdon, Riverside and Thorpe St Andrew after heavy rainfall.

Rainfall on May 27 and July 20 caused the most disruption, thought to be a 1 in 16 year and 1 in 121 year events.

The 71-page investigation highlighted issues ranging from the lack of regular maintenance of the drainage system, to the impact overzealous planning can have on the infrastructure.

• Where would you spend the money first? Tell us your views by writing to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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