Press release

Work starts on second phase of Leighton Buzzard flood defence scheme

A ground-breaking ceremony marks the start of the second phase of work to help reduce flood risk in Leighton Buzzard.

Ground-breaking ceremony marks start of work at Leighton Buzzard
Picture L to R: Cllr Brian Spurr, MP Andrew Selous and Paul Burrows Environment Agency

A ground-breaking ceremony took place today (Fri 6) marking the start of the second phase of work to help reduce the risk of flooding to properties in Leighton Buzzard’s Carina Drive.

The ground was broken by Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire, Cllr Brian Spurr Executive Member for Sustainable Communities at Central Bedfordshire Council and Paul Burrows, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency.

Working in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council, the Environment Agency started work to improve flood protection to properties in Carina Drive adjacent to the Clipstone Brook. 29 properties will benefit from the project. Flood risk will be reduced from a 1 in 25 chance of flooding in any given year to less than a 1 in 100 year chance.

Paul Burrows, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

The works planned are a significant achievement and a testimony to the hard work and commitment of all involved to find an affordable project for the town. This kind of partnership approach between Authorities is an important way to reduce flood risk to local communities.

Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities at Central Bedfordshire Council, said:

This is great news for residents in Carina Drive who have been threatened by flooding for many years. We will continue to work together with the Environment Agency to manage risk in the town. I would also like to remind landowners adjacent to the watercourse that as riparian owners, they have a duty to ensure that the brook flows without obstruction.

Central Bedfordshire Council staff carried out the first phase of the work in December 2014. This involved tree pollarding and cutting back vegetation ahead of site inspections and surveys.

The Environment Agency, Central Bedfordshire Council and Leighton Linslade Town Council were keen to see the local flooding problems reduced. This second phase of the work is expected to cost £65,000 and will include widening the brook channel, clearing vegetation from the channel, lowering a small section of ground on the Carina Drive side of the brook to redirect floodwater away from homes. It will also include the building of a small flood bank to defend homes.

The costs will be met by contributions from both Central Bedfordshire Council and Local Levy. Local Levy is a local flood risk funding source raised and allocated by the Anglian (Central) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

Central Bedfordshire Council and the Environment Agency have been working together for many years to manage flood risk in the town and will continue to investigate ways of managing flood risk in the town.

Published 6 February 2015