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£150k funding secured for Attleborough Flood Management

Norfolk County Council, 29 February 2024 10:32

£150,000 has been awarded to Norfolk County Council to reduce flooding in north Attleborough by using Natural Flood Management to reduce flood risk in the area by holding storm-water upstream. 

The funding, provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), will allow the county council to work with local landowners and the wider community as a first step to reducing flood risk in the area. 

Natural Flood Management uses sustainable materials and soft engineering techniques to replicate natural processes in river catchments that slow, store and filter excess water during peak flows. This form of water management has grown in popularity in the UK over the last decade due the benefits it brings for the natural environment and its ability to help mitigate flood risk to homes and businesses downstream. 

The scheme will focus on the upper headwaters of the Besthorpe Stream, in a  6.2km2 watershed south east of Besthorpe. 

Cllr Eric Vardy, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, said: "This funding is great news for Attleborough: we know just how much the recent wet weather has effected parts of the town, and the funding from DEFRA will allow us to realise the plans our team have put forward to protect residents with minimal impact on the natural environment that makes this part of Norfolk such a special place to live. 

"I welcome DEFRA taking steps to support flood prevention in this way: it's the right decision for residents and businesses up and down the country. Now the government needs to go further and provide real, long term certainty to communities at risk of flooding and fund the big schemes we need to keep our towns and villages, from Attleborough to Burnham Market and Potter Heigham, safe from flooding." 

The funding will be spent over the next three years; firstly on installing flow gauges to monitor the flow of water across the watershed before and after the installation of Natural Flood Management measures. The measures will be delivered in partnership with local landowners who work this catchment on a day to day basis and may include techniques such as field corner bunds, 'leaky' or woody debris dams and others as appropriate. The intention is to allow everyday base-flows to pass through but obstruct higher flows. 

Cllr Rhodi Oliver, Norfolk County Councillor for Attleborough Division, said: "It's wonderful that we now have the funding needed to make a start on protecting homes and businesses in Attleborough. Natural, sustainable measures to prevent flooding and lower risk means fewer people having to deal with the difficulty and heartache of flooded homes. It's not a magic bullet for all of our problems, but it's a great start to addressing the flooding issues Attleborough faces." 

The funding is part of £25 million announced by DEFRA to increase the nation's flood resilience, natural flood management processes protect, restore, and mimic the natural functions of catchments, floodplains and the coast to slow and store water. Among the 39 other projects to receive funding is the Diss Natural Flood Management project run by the River Waveney Trust. 

The Environment Agency is overseeing the release of new £25 million programme with work taking place from now until March 2027. Norfolk County Council's Floods team will be further engaging with local landowners over the rest of 2024to agree plans whilst other measures across North Attleborough related to managing and mitigating flood risk are also being investigated with other authorities to complement the project. 

Last modified: 25 June 2024 16:06

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