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Hundreds of properties to be protected by latest Thatcham flood defences

Celebrations as Tull Way scheme is completed

Hundreds of properties to be protected by latest Thatcham flood defences

THATCHAM’S second set of flood defences has been completed. 

The flood alleviation scheme at Tull Way will protect the 279 properties to the south of the area from surface water flooding. 

The large earth embankment has been created to retain floodwater from the land to the north, while an outlet structure to control the rate of flow into the existing surface water sewer has also been installed. 

The project, which started in May, was funded by a Government grant through the Environment Agency (EA), together with contributions from West Berkshire Council and Thatcham Town Council.

Thatcham Flood Forum also supplied £122,000 towards the flood defences.

Chairman of the forum Iain Dunn said: “We are very pleased that the Tull Way scheme is complete.

“We are extremely grateful to all the local organisations and individuals who raised the £122,000, as without these important local funds, we simply would not have the £4m so desperately needed to complete Thatcham’s flood protection scheme by late 2018.

“The response from local businesses was overwhelming.

“The wonderful support of those donors, Thatcham Town Council, West Berkshire Council, local businesses and organisations and many personal contributions demonstrated the broad community support the EA needed to consider funding completion of the town's major flood defences.

“In particular, I would like to acknowledge the generosity of Greenham Trust, Berkshire Community Foundation and Scottish and Southern Electric Power Distribution, who together were responsible for £80,000 of the total funding.

“This is a phenomenal contribution, which provided the impetus for the application to the Environment Agency.”

The scheme is one of four to protect the town from a repeat of the floods of 2007, when more than 1,100 properties were flooded out for months.  

West Berkshire Council, in conjunction with the Environment Agency and Thames Water, completed a ‘Surface Water Management Plan for Thatcham’  as one of six pilot studies, part-funded by Defra.

The plan comprises a series of detention basins that are designed to store floodwater and then release it at a controlled rate into the surface water sewers under Thatcham, to prevent them becoming overwhelmed.

West Berkshire Council executive member for highways and transport, Jeanette Clifford (Con, Northcroft), said: “We are delighted this important flood defence scheme for Thatcham is now complete.

“A great deal has been achieved in Thatcham since the terrible floods in 2007 and we have worked tirelessly with our partners to provide the best possible protection against future floods. 

“We completed the first reservoir at Cold Ash Hill in 2014 and two further schemes at Dunston Park and South East Thatcham are planned for next year.

“Subject to grant funding, we will continue to implement one scheme a year until all the proposed flood defences are in place.”

The scheme was constructed by Jackson Civil Engineering and supervised by West Berkshire Council. 

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