A NEW £4.1million flood defence which will reduce the chance of flooding for almost 300 homes and businesses was officially opened yesterday.
The ‘flood storage’ system will protect Broadway, Childswickham and Murcot which were all severely affected in 2007 by the record-breaking rainfall which fell in the area. They were flooded again in 2012.
The storage area, in an 18acre field in Broadway, will be able to hold up to 135,000cubic metres of water during times of flood. It will only allow a set amount of water to flow downstream at times of intense and high rainfall, reducing the flood risk to 57 properties in Broadway and 215 properties in Childswickham and Murcot.
Mid Worcestershure MP Nigel Huddleston, Worcestershire County Councillor Liz Eyre BEM, who represents Broadway, and Tony Jones, Wychavon’s retired chief engineer, officially unveiled a plaque and buried a time capsule at Badsey Brook.
Anthony Parry from the Environment Agency gave an outline of the scheme.
Daniel Wilkinson from the Environment Agency said flooding had a devastating impact on the lives of those effected and it was brilliant that, with partners working together, a solution had been found.
Mr Huddleston thanked the agencies involved and said it was a huge relief.
“May it protect people, businesses and properties for years to come.”
Barrie Parmenter, Broadway Parish Council chairman, added: “This now means hundreds of families will no longer live in fear of flooding when severe weather reports are issued for the district.”
Coun Emma Stokes, Wychavon’s portfolio holder for environment and street scene for Wychavon District Council said: “Flooding impacts not just on residents’ homes but is an incredibly stressful process to go through.
“This scheme will offer protection and peace of mind.”
The scheme was delivered through the Environment Agency’s £2.6billion capital investment programme to reduce flood risk to 300,000 homes by 2021.
The Environment Agency, Worcestershire County Council, Wychavon District Council, Broadway Parish Council and Childswickham Parish Council worked together to secure over £2million of Government Grant in Aid funding.
The Environment Agency’s English Severn and Wye Regional Flood and Coastal Committee also contributed £1.2million. Worcestershire County Council and Wychavon District Council and the local parishes contributed the remaining £900,000.
Detailed archaeological investigations at the site, part funded by Worcestershire County Council, unearthed evidence of settlements dating back around 8,500 years with finds including a beaker dating back to 2,000BC and skeletons of a mother and baby.