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Great Yarmouth flood scheme hits milestone

NCE stock flooding

The first phase of a major flood defence project in Great Yarmouth has been completed, providing better protection for more than 2,000 homes and businesses.

The Environment Agency (EA) has finished the £28M phase of work to replace over 500m of tidal defences. The project reduced the risk of flooding to the Southtown and Cobham areas of Great Yarmouth.

The next stage of the project will involve a limpet dam solution being used to improve the condition of the defences. The temporary structure will allow engineers to inspect and repair the river wall in a dry environment that would otherwise be underwater. A trial has started at Berth 20, off South Quay, opposite Friar’s Lane, known as Bryant’s Wharf, and will run for the next couple of months.

“The quay walls in the next phase are in a better condition than those replaced in the first phase,” said EA area flood risk manager Graham Verrier. “We are using learning from that phase and intend to rejuvenate the walls with a programme of major repair and protection to reduce future corrosion.

“This approach should provide a further 50 years of life to be gained from the defences for an estimated 30% of the cost of replacing them – reducing the flood risk to over 2,000 homes.”

The EA intends to refurbish the tidal defences in five-year phases over the coming decades. The overall scheme includes 12km of flood defences in Great Yarmouth that reduce the risk of tidal flooding from the River Yare to over 6,000 properties, including 5,000 homes.

Future phases of work will need external funding contributions. Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the Environment Agency, together with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), have supported a number of local businesses to form the Tidal Defence Business Partnership (TDBP) to help secure the additional external contributions for phase two. The groups will also work in partnership for future phases of work.

“Around 1,000 businesses benefit from Great Yarmouth’s flood defences. We want to use this trial period to showcase the scheme to these businesses and explain how and why they should get involved. We will be holding open days at the site for businesses on Monday 12 December and Wednesday 11 January,” said TDBP chairman John Clare.

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