New flood defence for Winchester

Flood defences in Winchester will be strengthened thanks to a £895,000 joint project by Hampshire County Council and partner organisations.

HCC Leader, Cllr Roy Perry has approved the start of the tendering process for the joint scheme which is funded by Hampshire County Council (£250,000), Winchester City Council (£290,000), Southampton University (£60,000) and the Environment Agency (£295,000).

In Winchester, a low wall with deployable flood barriers at openings will be built around North Walls/Park Avenue including St Bede School, The Art College, homes and businesses.

The wall will be constructed in a red brick to match existing municipal walls in the area and will blend into the street scene - similar to the recently constructed flood defence wall in Water Lane. However, the core and foundation of the new wall will be reinforced concrete, capable of resisting the calculated water pressures. Gaps for pedestrian and vehicle access will be filled with temporary flood gates when the area is at risk of flooding.

Councillor Perry said: "This is a good example of a joined up approach by partners to help protect Winchester residents. This scheme will provide much needed relief and peace of mind in the St Bede's and River Park areas of Winchester which saw the River Itchen flood in 2000/1 and in 2013/14, after prolonged periods of heavy rainfall.

"In addition to this scheme, we are also working closely in partnership with the Environment Agency and other local authorities to develop flood mitigation and alleviation schemes to protect communities in Romsey, the Buckskin area of Basingstoke, Bourne Valley and Farringdon after the winter of 2013/14 when Hampshire experienced the most significant rainfall for 250 years."

Local MP Steve Brine, who worked around the clock when the city and surrounding areas were flooded back in 2014, said: "This is really good news, and Cllr Fiona Mather, who represents the area on the county council, and I well remember the scenes two years ago. We were very pleased that the scheme received positive feedback during the public consultation last year, which addressed some minor concerns by explaining that there will be appropriate tree replanting after the works."

The flood defence project will go out to tender shortly and work is planned to start in the summer, finishing at the end of the year.

Pictured; Steve Brine brought the Prime Minister's flood envoy, Greg Barker MP, to North Walls in spring 2014 to make Winchester's voice heard in government.