Flood defences are on the way

The River Bain - came close to overflowing last wek EMN-161201-094058001
The River Bain - came close to overflowing last wek EMN-161201-094058001
  • Environment Agency stresses multi-million pound project should be completed this summer

Officials from the Environment Agency confirmed Horncastle’s new multi-million pound flood defences are on course to be completed this summer.

The message comes just days after some residents claim the River Bain came within inches of overflowing on Thursday (January 7).

According to the agency, the new defences – being built near Hemingby at a cost of around £8million – will protect homes and businesses from the threat of flooding.

A similar scheme is under way in Louth.

Deborah Campbell, flood and coastal risk manager with the agency, said: “Combined, the Louth and Horncastle flood alleviation schemes will reduce the risk of flooding from rivers to more than 600 homes and businesses in the areas around the rivers Bain and Lud.

“Both schemes are progressing well and, although earthworks at Horncastle have been paused due to the wet weather, we expect to continue this work from March and, in the meanwhile, construction of the control structure continues.

“Weather permitting, both schemes will be completed this summer.”

The agency admits the work on the Horncastle scheme has also been subject to a slight delay due to archaeological investigations, which are a requirement of the planning permissions.

Contractors working at the site have discovered some timber posts – believed to be from the Iron Age – and a piece of worked flint which is believed to date from the upper Paleolithic age (around 10BC).

The flint, however, is believed to have originated elsewhere and washed downstream to the site of the flood storage reservoir.

An agency spokeswoman added that financial settlements had been agreed with the majority of landowners involved in both projects.

She said negotiations were continuing with other landowners but did not give any further details.

The spokeswoman went on to stress that although the schemes – designed around holding reservoirs – would offer protection from rivers, they did not remove the threat of risk from heavy rainfall.

Several residents contacted the News on Thursday to reveal they were worried about the level of the Bain close to Tesco car park.

Steve Anderson said: “The river was a few inches away from coming over the top and flooding into Mill Lane.

“Fortunately, it stopped raining in the late afternoon and the level started to fall. People are worried. These defences can’t come soon enough.”