The Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme will reduce the risk of river flooding to the Berkshire town of Newbury.
We have now completed construction of the Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme, which began in October 2012. The work was delayed by high local groundwater levels and high flows in the River Kennet during winter 2012/13. Some landscaping work in Northcroft Park will be completed early in 2014 once the weather conditions improve. The official opening of the scheme is taking place in early February 2014.
Where we have been working
Work next to Russell Road to raise the towpath to protect adjacent housing has been completed. Access has also been improved to the fishing platforms.
Work to construct a new earth embankment in Northcroft Park is now complete. We have sown grass seed on the embankment and reinstated the surrounding areas. We will need to keep the embankment area fenced off for a few months to allow the grass to establish.
Early in 2014, we will carry out further landscape planting around the new wetland area. West Berkshire Council's parks department will take on the long-term maintenance of the works in the park.
Planned work at Bewicks Reach, Swan Court and Cygnet House has been completed. We have taken special measures to raise the ground around the mature London Plane tree (next to the Lock, Stock and Barrel pub).
Our work in Northcroft Lane has finished. The wall is now up to its full height and we have installed a new handrail.
Northcroft Lane roadworks - work to raise a section of the road in Northcroft Lane (next to the car park opposite Northcroft Park) by up to 300mm will be carried out by West Berkshire Council's Highways Department.
West Berkshire Council, working on our behalf, installed new flood kerbs and raised the footpath at the park.
The towpath works have been completed and the towpath re-opened in February 2013.
What the scheme will achieve
Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme will reduce the risk of river flooding to 1 in 100, or a 1 per cent, chance of flooding in any one year.
The scheme will benefit:
- more than 380 residential and almost 70 commercial properties
- the A339 and A4 London Road
- 5 listed buildings and 2 Scheduled Monuments
- 2 nursery schools
- 2 residential homes for the elderly
Newbury is vulnerable to river flooding. Its canal and river banks and water levels are as much as 2.5 metres higher than the surrounding floodplain. There were floods in 1947,1960, 2000 and 2003.
Newbury also experienced flooding from surface water and groundwater in 2007. There is a separate investigation into these sources of flooding.
Funding the scheme
Our work was supported by contributions from West Berkshire Council, Newbury Town Council, Greenham Common Trust, Sovereign Housing and several Newbury businesses.
By investing £2 million now, we estimate that we will avoid damages of £33.7 million over the lifetime of the flood defence.
The Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme has reduced the likelihood of flooding in Newbury. This might have a beneficial impact on your home insurance when it comes up for renewal. We are currently re-modelling the flood risk for the River Kennet with the new defences in place. We will use this to update the flood map in summer 2014 and the National Flood Risk Assessment (NaFRA) in winter 2014.
In the interim we are happy to give you a letter explaining how the scheme has reduced your flood risk. If you would like one of these letters, please email our enquiries team: WTenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk
You can get more information on insurance here:
Contact the team
If you would like to learn more about Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme, please get in touch:
Or call: 03708 506 506
Or write to:
Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme
Kings Meadow House
Kings Meadow Road
This page was updated on 7 February 2014.