Additional funding agreed to protect Winchester city centre from flooding

Winchester City Council’s Cabinet has agreed plans to further protect the historic city centre from flooding to avoid a repeat of the dramatic floods that hit parts of the city in 2014.

The Cabinet has agreed that an additional £500,000 worth of Community Infrastructure Funding (CIL) will go towards the second phase of the North Winchester Flooding Alleviation Scheme.

The scheme is due to begin in Autumn 2019 following a public consultation and will introduce sluice gates on the last uncontrolled river courses that flow through the city. This will not only help to improve flood defences but will also control the river levels further upstream for ecological reasons during dry spells. 

This phase will cost a total of £1.2 million, with an additional £500,000 coming from CIL funding. Some £300,000 will come from the Environment Agency and £150,000 from the council’s General Fund.

CIL funding is a charge that local authorities can set on new developments in order raise funds to support infrastructure, facilities and services.

The cost of completing these works increased because site investigations revealed poor ground conditions, which meant the design had to be revised to address the additional challenges this presented.  

The news comes two years after the council worked with other parties to install flood alleviation measures to protect the River Park area in 2017.

Portfolio Holder for Built Environment, Cllr Caroline Brook, said:

“We saw the impact of flooding in Winchester in 2014 and this council is committed to ensuring that it does everything it can to avoid it happening again. 

“This is why we are prepared to make such a significant financial investment in delivering the second phase of the Durngate works by funding the project using our CIL income. This avoids taxpayers footing the bill and these flood defences are exactly the type of infrastructure challenges that CIL was designed for.

“Across the district, we are looking for ways to maximise our CIL funding to make a real difference to our residents, and in this case these defences will give homeowners and businesses a much-needed boost knowing that their properties will be far better protected from the unpredictable nature of the weather.”