Bid for £6m so towns and villages can combat flooding

Heavy rain caused flooding in Long Stratton

Heavy rain caused flooding in Long Stratton - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Millions of pounds to try to stop Norfolk and Suffolk from suffering further flooding is being sought from the government.

Norfolk County Council has joined forces with Suffolk County Council to submit a £6m bid to a government pot of cash.

They want to get a share of the £200m innovation fund for Flood and Coastal Resilience Programme.

Norfolk has been recognised in the national surface water modelling as the 10th most at risk area out of 149 authorities.

But due to its rural nature, historically it has been less able to get hold of traditional funding for flood risk management schemes, due to the lower number of homes predicted to benefit than more urban areas.

The county has been badly hit by a number of floods in recent years, with homes in South Norfolk damaged during torrential rain over the Christmas period.

Yet, Norfolk and Suffolk are also among the driest in the UK, with council officers, in their bid, saying annual rainfall is
equivalent to Israel.

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Officers say there are times when famers , environmental habitats and other industries could benefit from having access to more water.

So, they are looking to identify up to eight comparable and suitable small towns and villages across Norfolk and Suffolk at risk of flooding.

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They want to use the government money to put in projects there which would reduce that risk, but would also involve capturing water so it could be reused.

Communities would be encouraged to get involved, through measures such as installing permeable paving, water butts and building rain gardens.

Rain gardens are shallow depressions, with absorbent, free draining soil and plants which can cope with occasional temporary flooding.

The bid was given the go-ahead by Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment and waste, using delegated powers.

Norfolk county councillor Andrew Grant. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment and waste. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

If successful, the projects would run for six years and would be up and running by 2027.

Amid concerns over recent flooding in Norfolk, a new taskforce aiming to strengthen Norfolk’s resilience to flooding has been set up.

It is chaired by General the Lord Dannatt, the former head of the British Army.

General The Lord Dannatt will officially open the Northgate High School and Dereham Sixth Form Commu

General the Lord Dannatt. - Credit: Bill Smith

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