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Going up the wall

COVER STORY: FLOOD PROTECTION

Demountable defences will be installed on the south bank of the River Severn in Bewdley to protect properties from flooding with minimal visual effect on the picturesque village.

The £2M scheme will protect the southern side of the village with 2.5m steel walls that can be put up within the hour following a flood warning - and then be removed after the event.

German firm Bauer, which is bidding to supply the demountable wall system, explains that the wall is bolted in layers into metal base plates at ground level. These are supported over a continuous piled wall and pile cap.

The scheme costs an average £700 per square metre of wall.

'Only 50% of the cost is the actual demountable wall, ' says Bauer technical manager Colin Serridge, 'but when it is installed, all you can see is the base plates at 3m centres.'

The other half of the cost results from the piling driven into a suitably water tight ground layer to prevent flood ingress under the wall.

Plans for a 180m demountable wall in the village along the south side of the Severn are at the planning stage, explained an Environment Agency spokeswoman at the Bewdley fair.

'We hope construction can start in September, ' she said, adding that the wall would take 12 months to construct. Operation of the wall would then be the responsibility of an Agency team.

A further wall may continue along the south side if further funds become available. The scheme is part of the River Severn strategy to ensure the whole catchment is taken into account.

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