New flood defence unveiled at River Park
The Winchester City Council Drainage and Special Maintenance Team put together the new £1m flood barrier for the first time yesterday, which has been designed to protect the River Park areas of the city including St Bede School, Winchester School of Art, homes, and businesses.
Jointly funded by the Council, Hampshire County Council, the Environment Agency, and the University of Southampton, the wall was constructed to accomodate water levels associated with a 100-year flood, and the core foundations capable of withstanding the calculated water pressures. The flood defence can be constructed if a flood is predicted, and when there is no threat the panels will be removed to allow for everyday use of the area.
Counciller Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "This flood barrier provides much needed relief and peace of mind for residents in the St Bede’s and River Park areas, which were badly flooded in 2000/01 and 2013/14 following prolonged periods of heavy rainfall. Flooding is a shared problem which is why a shared solution was needed. I’m grateful that Winchester City Council, the Environment Agency and the University of Southampton have worked with us to build this flood defence to help protect the local community in this part of the city."
The completion of the flood defence marks the end of the second phase of a three-phase plan to save the city from flooding, with the third and final phase expected to commence in spring 2018. Wesley Jones, flood defence team leader from the Environment Agency, described the rate at which the scheme had been implemented as "unheard of", saying that "it shows the power of good partnerships."