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New barrier will protect hundreds of homes from flooding

PUBLISHED: 11:25 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:32 06 March 2020

An artists impression of what the barrier will look like. Picture: Environment Agency

An artists impression of what the barrier will look like. Picture: Environment Agency

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A new flood barrier will be used to help protect a nearby village from flooding.

Picture from last month shows receding flood waters revealed a number of abandoned cars beside the Wash Road at Welney. Picture: Chris BishopPicture from last month shows receding flood waters revealed a number of abandoned cars beside the Wash Road at Welney. Picture: Chris Bishop

The Environment Agency (EA) is preparing to put in place a new removable flood barrier on the Welney Wash Road.

The road, which is susceptible to flooding during the winter months, historically has a temporary flood barrier of large sand bags put across it when the Washes is flooded.

But a new barrier, which will be used on the Welney Wash Road where it meets the middle barrier bank, is said to be more robust and will prevent any water spilling from the Ouse Washes flood storage reservoir to the Welney village.

Nicola Oldfield, project lead, said: "This is a really vital part of our long-term investment in refurbishing and maintaining the Ouse Washes flood storage reservoir and protecting surrounding properties.

"To accommodate this barrier preparatory work needs to be carried out over a 14 week period in 2021 which will involve the temporary closure of Welney Wash Road.

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"We appreciate that closing the Welney Wash Road will have considerable impact on the local community.

"We want to reduce that impact as much as possible by working with residents and businesses to identify the most appropriate time of year to close the road for the construction works."

Construction is expected to take around 14 weeks and the road will be closed between six to eight weeks to put a concrete slab across it.

In a statement the EA said: "There are times of the year when construction cannot go ahead, due to birds overwintering and nesting on the Washes between November and July, therefore the working window is from July to October each year.

"The Environment Agency continually engages with Natural England, and we are liaising with them to explore the potential to extend this window for the barrier foundation works."

Before deciding what period would be best to carry out the work, the EA want to hear from the local community about their opinions on the timings of the road closure.

An online survey will be available for comments on Thursday, March 12 and there will be a public drop-in on March 18 from 3.30 to 7.30pm at the William Marshall Centre in Welney.

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