First stage of £26m flood defence scheme to improve Fenland floor storage reservoir gets under way

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for the Suffolk coast

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for the Suffolk coast - Credit: Archant

FIRST stage of a £26m flood defence scheme to improve the safety of a flood storage reservoir dam at Whittlesey has started.

The Environment Agency led project will strengthen the dam of the flood storage reservoir downstream of Peterborough by reshaping it and placing extra material at the base of the bank.

16km of the South Barrier Bank, which forms the reservoir dam between Stanground and Ring’s End near Guyhirn will be improved to reduce the risk of a breach during a flood.

The flood storage reservoir protects hundreds of properties, roads, railways and more than 8000 hectares of farmland in the fenland area to the south east of Peterborough.

Guy Szomi, Environment Agency engineer, said: “We use Whittlesey Washes to store flood water when tides and river flows are high.

“The Washes play an important part in helping to reduce the risk of flooding and our work will further reduce the risk to people and property.

“But while the flood storage reservoir is an effective way of reducing flood risk, no type of defence can remove the risk entirely.”

Most Read

Whittlesey Washes can be used to temporarily store the equivalent of 14,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of flood water.

The Whittlesey project will take place over four years and has been split into phases. The first phase is taking place between Ring’s End and Coates. The first phase of flood bank strengthening has begun and will end in autumn 2014.

The car park at Ring’s End will be closed until December.

To minimise disruption and reduce traffic through Whittlesey, Eastrea and Coates, material will be transported to site using the A47, A141 and A605 and a dedicated access track at Goosetree Farm. This means people may notice more lorries than usual along these routes.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter