Work on Horncastle’s long-awaited flood defence scheme should start this summer, offering protection to hundreds of homes and businesses.
The £8.1m project - details of which were first revealed in the News - will see a flood storage ‘reservoir’ built to the north of the town to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Bain.
It will include new earth embankments and automatic control structures, which will manage water levels through the town - and in villages further down the river like Kirkby on Bain.
Officials from the Environment Agency were in Horncastle on Monday to present details of the project for the first time.
Andrew Barron, the Agency’s senior advisor for Flood and Coastal Risk Management, said negotiations were at an advanced stage with landowners.
He said it was hoped to apply for planning permission in February or March with work starting as early as the summer.
Mr Barron said: “We mean business. This is excellent news for Horncastle and other communities affected by flooding.”
Mr Barron explained the defence scheme came close to being implemented in 2002 and the new plans were largely based on information drawn up then.
He said floodwater would be held back by the banks and would be allowed to flood farmland.
Mr Barron said similar schemes were operating successfully in other areas.
He stressed the project was a multi-agency approach which also involves the County Council, District Council, Town Council and Witham Drainage Board.
A separate and smaller scheme for properties in Horncastle affected by flooding from the River Waring is also underway.