Environment Agency spends £30M on flood defences
The Environment Agency began construction of new flood defences at Burton-upon-Trent on 28th June 2019 as part of a £30M investment.
The new defences, consisting of upgrades such as deeper foundations to 9km of flood walls and embankments, will protect 5,500 properties which will include 4,500 homes and 1,000 businesses in the town of Burton.
It is predicted that these improved defences will safeguard homes and business for decades to come and will likewise support the economic development of Burton through the protection of 12,460 jobs by, in turn, reducing of flood risk to an area of commercial land amounting to 394km2.
Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton & Uttoxeter, stated: “So many Burton residents will be relieved to see this scheme completed. This is a massive investment and will protect thousands of homes from the misery of flooding for decades to come.”
Burton’s new defences will serve as part of a £2.6Bn nationwide scheme by the Environment Agency to ensure to protection of 300,000 homes across the country by 2021, with work having started on the scheme back in 2015.
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, stated: “Today marks an exciting day for Burton. We’ve all seen the devastating impact flooding can have on communities in recent weeks and that’s why we are continuing to invest £2.6 billion to better protect homes across the country.
“This project will also benefit local wildlife through the creation of new wetland areas and ponds, and a better space for local people through upgraded lighting along the boardwalks and a new children’s play area.”
The Environment Agency is also working alongside the East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to make improvements for visitors at the Washlands floodplain area between the River Trent and town of Burton.
A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction was organised by the Environment Agency on 28th June with some of the attendees including Sir James Bevan, Mr Griffiths, project partners and community representatives.
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