Recovering after the floods
Press Release: 11/08/2015
The Winchester district is continuing to recover from the serious floods of winter 2013-14 and prepare for the future.
Property-owners across the district have been awarded grants by the City Council to help protect their premises against future flooding in the light of the events of 2013-14.
The Government launched the Repair and Renew Grant scheme (RRG) in April last year to allocate funds to owners of premises affected by flooding and enable them to take measures to make their homes and businesses more resilient.
Local councils were asked to run the scheme supported financially by Defra. The City Council promoted RRG in a number of ways, including a series of flood clinics in the worst affected areas.
The scheme closed in June this year. The Council received more than 80 applications, most of which it was able to approve, and paid out a total of £341,000.
The grants funded a range of measures including sump pumps, septic tank and other drainage improvements and flood barriers. Properties all over the district benefited including Winchester, Littleton, Twyford, Hursley and Hambledon.
Most grants were awarded to individual property-owners but in Littleton a collaborative scheme was put together by a group of residents, assisted by the Council, which should help to protect a large number of homes.
Cllr Mike Read, Portfolio Holder for Built Environment, said:
The events of winter 2013-14 were very difficult and challenging for many of our home-owners and businesses who were badly affected by the flooding which occurred in a number of places around the district. I am pleased that we have been able to help so many through the Repair and Renew Grant scheme which will hopefully mean that many premises will now be better-protected should we be faced with similar weather conditions again.
The Council is still accepting applications for business support grants, aimed at defraying the costs of getting businesses back on their feet after the floods:
Business rate relief and council tax reductions are also still available but people should make enquiries as soon as possible.
Meanwhile Winchester City Council has worked with the Environment Agency to build a ‘dwarf’ flood wall and make drainage improvements at Water Lane in Winchester.
Water Lane was one of the worst affected areas in 2013-14 and the wall aims to give residents a permanent solution should flooding occur again. The £56,000 wall was built in June and July this year, following a period of public consultation.
In addition Winchester City Council has invested in a £25,000 temporary flood barrier which will be stored at the Council’s Bar End depot and can be deployed where and when it is needed.
A similar barrier was used to good effect by the Environment Agency at Park Avenue during the 2013-14 floods.