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Final stage of Morpeth flood scheme finished

Cotting Burn dam

A major £27M flood alleviation scheme has been completed in Morpeth, Northumberland, two years after the main dam was constructed.

Built by contractors JBA-Bentley, a joint venture between JN Bentley and Jeremy Benn Associates, the Cotting Burn dam was the last piece of the Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council scheme.

Construction of the Cotting Burn dam finished in May. Separate work to fix surface water flooding in Morpeth will be carried out by Northumberland County Council by March 2018, costing £1M.

The Morpeth scheme was initiated in 2008 following devastating flooding in the town during which around 1,100 properties were flooded.

In 2015 an upstream reservoir constructed by Balfour Beatty subsidiary Birse Civils opened in the town’s Mitford estate. With the capacity to store 1.4M.m³ of water it is one of the largest projects of its kind built by the Environment Agency.

Tree poles were set up earlier this year near Lowford Bridge to stop debris reaching the town centre.

“The Morpeth flood scheme is the biggest in the North East and boasts one of the largest flood storage areas the Environment Agency has ever built,” said Environment Agency operations manager in the North East Alan Cadas.

“But this work on the Cotting Burn is equally important and works together with the other features to ensure Morpeth is protected from both the burn and the River Wansbeck.”

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