A new £65,000 flood embankment which protects homes in Hexham from flooding has been officially opened.
Storm Desmond saw flooding to 15 properties at Tyne Green, Hexham, on 5 December 2015.
Properties flooded as a result of water from the River Tyne flowing through an underpass beneath the Newcastle-Carlisle railway line near to Tyne Green Golf Course.
The Environment Agency prioritises delivery of new and improved flood defences using government funding over a rolling six year programme, to schemes which provide the greatest benefits to protect properties from flooding.
Due to the small number of properties that would benefit, against the cost of delivering a flood scheme at Tyne Green, the Environment Agency had been unable to deliver new flood defences in the area.
The new flood bank has been uniquely funded by residents who pooled individual government grants made available to them following flooding over the winter period of 2015/16.
The Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council worked closely with Tyne Green residents, Northumbrian Water and Network Rail to provide a creative solution.
The new bank was officially opened by local resident Joan McDonald – who contributed to the scheme – and Hexham MP Guy Opperman at an event on Tuesday 28 August.
Real success for residents
MP Guy Opperman said:
This is great news! I am delighted that a pragmatic team effort has produced a real success for the Tyne Green residents. I want this collaborative working to be the prototype for future flood defence projects in Tynedale.
Tyne Green resident Keith Hutton added:
I am pleased to have been involved in this project alongside so many others, and on behalf of everyone, I would like to extend a huge thank you to Guy Opperman, our MP, for his steadfast support in getting all the agencies together, something we could not have done single-handedly.
Special credit should also go to Chris Hood, from the Environment Agency and Aaron McNeil from Northumberland County Council. They recognised the opportunity and worked hard alongside our community to deliver this scheme.
Finally, Network Rail and Northumbrian Water have been a huge support to this lengthy project and I think we all recognise that going forward, this flood defence, which has been funded in such a unique way, gives our community a real peace of mind.
The flood embankment, built by Breheny Civil Engineering, has been designed to protect against a flood event similar to that experienced by Tyne Green residents during Storm Desmond.
Thanks to residents
Chris Hood, Project Manager for the Environment Agency, said:
I’m delighted we’ve been able to build this flood defence which is great news for the residents of Tyne Green. I’d like to thank them for their continued support and patience while we worked with our partners to find the best and most cost-effective solution.
Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet member for Environment and Local Services with Northumberland County Council, added:
This is another fine example of agencies working with local communities to find innovative solutions to improve their areas and prevent flooding events damaging their homes in the future.Storm Desmond had a massive impact on communities in Tynedale and this work should help provide peace of mind for the future.