Plans drawn up to cut flood risk
A STRATEGY has been developed by the council to help manage flood risk in Swindon and is set to be approved later this year.
It involves identifying the main areas at risk from flooding coming from surface water, streams and ditches. The plan covers the next five years and includes annual action plans for each area of the borough.
Work will be carried out with a number of partner organisations, including Thames Water, the Environment Agency and parish councils.
Central to the plan are nine key objectives which include improving knowledge of the flood risk around the town and ensuring all future development takes into account flood risk.
This is especially significant because the east of the town, close to where 8,000 homes are set to be built, is identified in an area of possible risk.
In the plan it states that currently 1.16 per cent of houses in the east are at risk from flooding while 2.17 per cent in the north are at risk.
The report relates simply to stream and surface water flooding, as river floods are the responsibility of the Environment Agency.
The first year of action looks at different parts of the plan and the work which will be done over the next 12 months.
It includes the start of the of Cheney Manor flood mitigation scheme, the desilting of Sandpiper Bridge, in Dorcan, and improvements to the High Street drainage in Blunsdon.
Work will also be carried out to desilt the River Fleet, which is a small waterway running underneath the town and emerging near Wootton Bassett Road.
It may not be the council which carries out these works but one of the partner agencies.
In the cabinet report, Coun Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Dorcan), the cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “One of the council’s primary responsibilities is to produce a strategy which sets objectives for how the council will seek to manage flooding from surface run off, ordinary watercourses and groundwater, in partnership with a range of other organisations and the public.
“The development of the draft strategy has been overseen by an advisory group of councillors, the Environmental Agency, Thames Water and the neighbouring Flood Risk Authorities of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.
“The strategy aims to help manage flood risk in a way that will benefit people, property and the environment.”