Listen to scheme’s progress

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RESIDENTS and businesses in Morpeth are being invited to a presentation about the town’s flood scheme.

Representatives of the Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council will be at Morpeth Town Hall on Tuesday to give presentations at 4pm and 6.30pm on how the project is progressing.

In February, £9.3m of government funding was secured for the scheme, as well as a contribution from the county council of up to £12m, allowing the long-awaited scheme to go ahead.

The proposed solution for reducing the risk of flooding is a combination of water storage upstream of Morpeth, building new flood defences in the town and raising some of the existing defences.

It is anticipated that construction of the new flood defences will start in early 2013 and be finished by the end of 2014.

As well as reducing the risk of flooding from the River Wansbeck and the burns, the scheme will also address some surface water flood risk issues.

Environment Agency project manager for the scheme Thomasin Meadley said: “Now we have secured funding for this scheme we are starting to design it in detail, and we would like the community’s input into this.

“People will be able to hear what we have been doing over the last six months and what we’ll be doing next

“We will also be holding separate meetings for residents in areas of the town where the design of the flood defences is particularly complex, such as Mitford Road and High Stanners.”

Coun Jeff Reid, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “This is an opportunity for residents and businesses to find out what the County Council and Environment Agency have been working on and to find out what will be happening over the next few months. “We are committed to making sure that the community is not only kept informed of the progress but that they also have the chance to have their input on this scheme.”

A more detailed consultation about different elements of the scheme will come later in the summer, before the Environment Agency applies for planning permission. Contact with residents and landowners upstream of Morpeth is also ongoing.