Richard Benyon MP, visited the Flood Alleviation building site at Tull Way in Thatcham yesterday.
He spent time finding of the construction of the scheme, which is well underway and speaking to the various partners involved in making it happen.
The project, funded by Government grant through the Environment Agency together with contributions from West Berkshire Council and Thatcham Town Council, will provide a large earth embankment to the north of Tull Way to retain flood water from the land to the north and an outlet structure to control the rate of flow into the existing surface water sewer.
In 2010, West Berkshire Council, in conjunction with the Environment Agency and Thames Water completed a ‘Surface Water Management Plan for Thatcham’ (SWMP) as one of six pilot studies, partly
funded by Defra.
The SWMP identified a strategy which comprised a series of detention basins or ‘reservoirs’ that are designed to store flood water and then release it at a controlled rate into the surface water sewers under Thatcham to prevent them becoming overwhelmed.
Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport said: A great deal has been achieved in Thatcham since the terrible floods in 2007 and we have worked tirelessly with our partners to provide the best possible protection against future floods. We completed the first reservoir at Cold Ash Hill in 2014 and Tull Way is on schedule for completion in October. Two further schemes at Dunston Park and South East Thatcham are planned for next year and, subject to grant funding, we will continue to implement one scheme a year until all the proposed flood defenses are in place.”
Iain Dunn, Thatcham Flood Forum said: “We are delighted with the response to our fundraising efforts to support these important flood defences. We continue to work closely with West Berkshire Council to raise money to ensure the flood defence projects go ahead and that the entire drainage infrastructure in Thatcham is properly maintained.
“We are extremely grateful to all the local organisations and individuals who raised the £122k as without these important local funds, we simply would not have the £4 million so desperately needed to complete Thatcham’s flood protection scheme by late 2018.
“The wonderful support of those donors, Thatcham Town Council, West Berkshire Council, local businesses and organisations and many personal contributions demonstrated the broad community support the EA needed to consider funding completion of the town’s major flood defences. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the generosity of Greenham Common Trust, Berkshire Community Foundation and Scottish and Southern Electric Power Distribution who together, were responsible for £80k of the total funding. This is a phenomenal contribution which provided the impetus for the application to the Environment Agency.”